Who Was Abdul Razak Ali Artan? Early Morning Rampage Thwarted by OSU Police

A dramatic scene unfolded outside of Ohio State University’s Watts Hall this morning after a man, now identified by police as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, plowed his vehicle through a crowd gathered our front. Reports form the scene state that Artan then exited his vehicle and began attacking people with a large kitchen knife.

OSU police quickly responded to the scene and ordered Artan to ground. After he failed to comply with the orders given to him, the police were forced to engage him. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Streets near the scene closed off during investigation.
Streets near the scene expected to be closed for most of the day

At least 9 people were hurt in the incident including four with confirmed stab wounds according to Dr. Andrew Thomas, the chief medical officer of the Wexner Medical Center. Two of those injured in the attacked are listed in critical condition. OSU Police confirmed that Officer Alan Horujko shot and killed the suspect.

Officials now confirm that the the attacker was an 18 year old OSU student and refugee from Somalia, who had been granted permanent residence in the United States. Early reports indicated the possible presence of an additional suspect but police now confirm that is no longer the case. This individual acted alone and his motives are still under investigation.

The OSU Emergency Management and Fire Prevention Twitter account posted several warning to students and faculty on campus. Including this one advising students to “Run, Hide, and Fight.”


The efforts by OSU to keep its students and staff safe are commendable and may have helped police make it to the scene as quickly as they did. It is unclear at this time what motivated the attack but police are sure to have answers soon.

The looming question remains, was this an act of terrorism? Police officials state that they are considering the possibility of terrorism but referenced a similar incident that occurred earlier in the year where a mental disorder was to blame. Police believe that this incident was deliberate and could have been planned in advance.

“We have to consider that it is that possibility,” – Police Chief Kimberly Jacobs