UPDATE with details from afternoon newser: TV news operations took another break from Donald Trump Transition coverage today when word emerged that the deceased suspect in this morning’s Ohio State University attack was a Somali refugee.
Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who was shot dead at the scene this morning, was an 18-year-old first-year student at the university. The Somali refugee left his homeland with his family in 2007, lived in Pakistan, and came to the U.S. in 2014 as a legal permanent resident of this country, NBC News reported before the news conference.
The Ohio State police officer who shot and killed the suspect was identified at the afternoon news conference as Alan Horujko, 26, who joined the staff in January 2015. Horujko happened to be very nearby because of a fire alarm that had been set off in one of the campus buildings, which had caused a group of people in the building to vacate. Those people were among those targeted by the suspect, authorities said, leading to speculation there was a connection. Asked about any connection at this afternoons press conference, authorities called it a separate incident, but one that helped the officer “see the whole thing as it happened and take immediate action.”
The injured, whose numbers grew to 11, include grad and undergrad students, faculty and one university staff member; all are expected to recover.
Among those taking the microphone during the afternoon update was former GOP White House hopeful/Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who contributed no information but came armed with inspirational soundbites. Among them: “Think what this tragedy could have meant. A man with a butcher knife and who knows what else.” He also noted of the officer’s quick response at the scene, “it was remarkable what these first responders did” and called that, as well as the university’s system for alerting students to the danger, a “lesson for campuses all across America what you do when these things happen” adding that these “exercises are not to be taken lightly,” noting pointedly of OSU “this is where I wandered as an 18-year-old.”
Earlier in the day, some TV news outlets covered a press conference in which various local officials parsed out scant information about the student, who had jumped the curb in a car and drove into a crowd of people who had evacuated an academic building during the fire alarm. After hitting some in the crowd, he exited the vehicle and began to cut or stab people with a butcher knife. He was shot dead by Horujko who was on the scene quickly, after the suspect ignored the officer’s order to drop the weapon. “He engaged the suspect and eliminated the threat,” OSU police chief Craig Stone said at that morning news conference, during which the suspect was not identified.
Nine people were taken to local hospitals with injuries suffered in the vehicle/knife attack that initially was reported as an “active shooter” situation.