Suspect used vehicle, butcher knife in OSU attack; motive not yet clear

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A suspect attacked several people at Ohio State University on Monday, sending at least eight to local hospitals and prompting a campus-wide lock down, authorities said.

Authorities and OSU President Dr. Michael Drake held a press conference at just before 1 p.m. saying they believe there was only one suspect and that a motive is not yet known.

**Read more details from the press conference in the blog at the bottom of this page**

Columbus Fire spokeswoman Rebecca Diehm said one victim is in critical condition. The others are in stable condition.

Ohio State University said in a statement:

“A suspect has been shot and reported deceased. Victim injuries include stab wounds, injury by motor vehicle and other injuries that are being evaluated.”

The motive for the attack was not immediately known.

Ohio State Police tweeted at around 11:30 a.m. that the shelter in place was lifted and that the “scene is now secure.”

As the chaos unfolded, university officials originally reported an active shooter incident at Watts Hall.

It’s possible the gunshots heard were those of police trying to stop the attacker, a federal law enforcement official said.

Investigators believe the assailant also used a car at the beginning of the attack, and the entire attack happened outside.

OSU student Jacob Bower, 20, said he saw a man pull a knife outside between the Koffolt Laboratories and Watts Hall.

“He pulled a large knife and started chasing people around, trying to attack them,” Bower told CNN. He said it appeared to be a large kitchen knife.

“Luckily there were so many people, he couldn’t focus on one target. I didn’t see anyone get stabbed, but I saw the police officer take down the stabber. He waited till everyone was clear, and the stabber clearly wasn’t stopping. (It) took three shots to take him down. (The) stabber had a crazy look in his eyes.”

When asked if the suspect yelled or said anything during the attack, Bower told CNN: “He was completely silent. Which was very creepy. Not even when he was shot (by police).”

“The cop that subdued the guy with the knife saved so many lives today.”

OSU Emergency Management first tweeted about the ‘active shooter’ situation at just before 10 a.m. Monday:

Watts Hall is the university’s materials science and engineering building.

Stick with Fox 8 and for more on this developing story.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 201612:54 pm

President Michael Drake: Suspect drove toward group of people

Darcie Loreno November 28, 201612:55 pm

Drake: The suspect then attacked the victims

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Drake: “We prepare for situations like this, but always hope never to have one.”

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Drake: “I want to commend our OSU police and other agencies that responded…” adding that they responded within minutes.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 201612:56 pm

OSU Police: Around 9:52 a.m., reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians. At 9:53 a.m., police reported that shots were fired and the suspect was engaged with police. The suspect cut several individuals.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 201612:56 pm

OSU police: An officer then shot and killed the suspect. 

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OSU police: There are a few buildings still shut down as a precaution on campus. But officials believe the threat is over. 

Darcie Loreno November 28, 201612:59 pm

Hospital officials: Five wounded were taken to OSU Wexner, two with stab wounds and two with wounds from being hit by car. At least two of the other victims taken to other hospitals had motor vehicle injuries.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 201612:59 pm

Police: Suspect used a butcher knife to injure the suspects. Police were on scene within one minute.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:00 pm

Police: Nine people in all were taken to hospitals. One is in critical condition. Eight are in stable condition.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:01 pm

Police: As far as we know, there was one suspect. There were rumors of a second, but after a search, no one was found. 

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:02 pm

Police: There was a gas leak earlier today at Watts Hall. It’s still under investigation whether it was connected to the attack. 

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Doctors: At least two victims have already undergone surgery.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:04 pm

OSU President Dr. Michael Drake: “It’s obviously a tragic situation.” He added that he’s thankful police were so quick to respond and that more people weren’t injured.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:05 pm

Drake: Today’s classes have been canceled. 

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:07 pm

Drake: Regarding the alert that told students there was an active shooter and to “Run. Hide. Fight” — original reports said that there was an active shooter. 

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:08 pm

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther: “We want to send a clear message..that the city of Columbus will devote whatever resources are necessary. We want everyone in Columbus to lift up in their thoughts and prayers the victims and their families.”

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:10 pm

Police: Every aspect of the situation will now be mulled over to try and identify a potential motive. The intent was purposeful. 

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:11 pm

Police when asked if there’s a potential it was a terrorist attack: “We have to consider that that’s a possibility.”

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:11 pm

Police believe the response by officers was appropriate. They say there is no indication the suspect had a firearm. But the vehicle hasn’t been searched yet and the investigation is continuing.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:13 pm

Police are not yet releasing any details about the suspect, including gender and if they were a student at OSU.

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:13 pm

Columbus Police Department is the agency investigating the attack and the officer-involved shooting. 

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Students are asked to contact loved ones to communicate that they are safe. 

Darcie Loreno November 28, 20161:14 pm

Police: Commands were not followed before the suspect was shot to death.