Update on victims of campus attack: 3 of 11 still hospitalized
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Three of 11 people injured in a campus attack Monday remain hospitalized, officials announced in a news conference today at The Ohio State University.
One patient is being treated at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and two are inpatients at Riverside Methodist Hospital.
“All are doing well and I have communicated in person or by phone with a majority of them,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, chief medical officer at Wexner Medical Center. “Everyone is continuing to heal and work through the trauma of yesterday’s events. At this point, we are thankful there were no life-threatening injuries.”
In the incident shortly before 10 a.m. Monday, Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove his car onto a sidewalk and struck several pedestrians, exited the car and attacked individuals with a knife. Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko, the first responder to the scene, shot and killed Artan when he refused to drop his weapon.
Ohio State spokesman Chris Davey said the law enforcement investigation continues, and that the Columbus Division of Police is now leading the investigation – standard protocol in the event of an officer-involved shooting.
“We appreciate the concern and care expressed by members of our community and from people around the world for the people injured in yesterday’s incident on our campus,” Davey said. “We also appreciate the interest you all have in news about Officer Horujko.”
President Michael V. Drake met with Horujko and “reports that he is doing well under the circumstances,” Davey said. The officer is on administrative leave according to standard procedure as the incident remains under investigation, and is not available for interviews.
Horujko released the following statement: “In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, I am very humbled by the amazing amount and outpouring of support from the Columbus community and beyond. Not just for me, but for all of yesterday's first responders. I know I acted just as any of the officers I serve with would have. I want to thank everyone again for their support and wish the campus community continued healing.”
An Ohio State professor injured in the attack shared his recollection of the event with reporters.
Dr. William Clark, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, suffered deep cuts and severe bruising. He said he believes these were the result of being struck by the assailant’s car.
Clark said the car mounted the curb and ran into a large concrete planter. Dazed after being hit by the car, Clark recalled hearing people in the crowd shouting but did not hear Artan say anything. He did not witness the knife attacks. Within what seemed like seconds, he said, he heard the shots fired by Horujko.
Noting that he is a research professor who prefers to draw conclusions based on data, Clark declined to pass judgment on Artan or speculate about his motive “until we know all the facts.”
“I hope people realize that as horrible as this is, this is one of these isolated incidents. We’re an enormous community at Ohio State. … It’s terrible when something like this happens on a university campus,” he said.
Thomas said he worked with the Office of Student Life today, reaching out to students involved in the attack to connect them with resources such as counseling and tend to their academic needs.
He said the Buckeye Strong event planned for Tuesday evening will bring the community together to take steps toward healing.
“It is something that time will help. … Much like any of these crises that occur, it gets better over time,” Thomas said. “But it really gets better because we work together. We are a city within a city. And we are used to coming together. I’m quite confident we’ll be resilient and be fine down the road.”