An 18-year-old man of Somali descent rammed his car into a group of pedestrians and stabbed several people at Ohio State University in the United States on Monday morning.
After the suspect left his vehicle and began stabbing people with a butcher knife, a police officer shot him dead.
At least nine victims were hospitalized, with one in critical condition. According to a statement released by the university, “victim injuries include stab wounds, injury by motor vehicle and other injuries that are being evaluated.”
University officials had initially reported that an active shooter was present on campus and sent an emergency alert to all students and faculty advising them to “run, hide, fight.” However, it was later gathered that the attacker did not have a gun on his person.
Upon receiving the alert via text message, students and faculty barricaded themselves in rooms where they waited for the situation to be brought under control. When the suspect was killed and the campus secured, the advisory was lifted, allowing students and faculty to move freely about campus, though classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day.
Law enforcement officials have withheld the assailant’s identity but confirmed that he was an 18-year-old male of Somali descent. Investigators are trying to determine the motive of the attack.
When asked if the attack could be considered an act of terrorism, Columbus, Ohio Police Chief Kimberley Jacobs said, “We have to consider that it is that possibility.”
“We had an attack earlier this year with a man with a knife causing multiple injuries. So we’re always aware that that’s the potential. And we’re going to continue to look at that,” she added.
Federal law enforcement officials told ABC News that the suspect was a legal resident of the United States. He allegedly made a Facebook post lamenting recent attacks on Muslims.
Ohio State University’s Columbus campus is one of the largest universities in the country. Students had just returned to class on Monday after the Thanksgiving break.