The media is deluging us with reports of an “active shooter incident” at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, which has seen at least eight people transported to area hospitals and a suspect being reported killed by police.
Interestingly, however, the tone of reporting has taken a shift, and the “active shooter” is not being reported as a shooter any more, but is an “assailant.” The only accounts of “shots fired” reports 3-4 total shots heard, suggesting that the only shots fired may have been from responding police.
Instead of mass shooting on campus, are we instead dealing with a mass stabbing?
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center issued the following statement just after 11am Monday morning.
An incident occurred today at The Ohio State University involving an assailant. Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees. At this time, we are taking the appropriate steps, including collaborating with local authorities, to understand what has occurred and to manage the situation. As we gather information, we’ll post updates on our Intranet, website and online media room. For patients at OSU Wexner Medical Center, normal operations and appointments will continue as scheduled.
Sophomore Wyatt Crosher said he heard what he thought was gunfire coming from a class building.
“My roommate and I heard about three or four gunshots from across the street, and soon after we heard a bunch of police and ambulances pull up across the street,” the 19-year-old said.
CNBC is also hearing that the attack was not from a gun, but from either a suspect who drove through students (which seems unlikely in a classroom building), or was carried out by someone armed with a large knife.
The Columbus Fire Department said seven people were transported to hospitals. It said two people are in stable condition at Grant Hospital and five have unknown conditions. NBC4 said there were an additional two injured. It said the OSU Wexner Medical Center received four patients.
Officials familiar with the matter said the situation appears to be over, NBC News reports. It said it is unclear the complete extend of the situation, but federal officials are not fully certain that it was a gun attack. A law enforcement official told NBC some students were attacked with a large knife.
The situation is now stable. The shelter in place order at Ohio State has been lifted, and classes have been cancelled.
We’ll update as we have more information.
Update: OSU’s student newspaper has the first details of the attack, taken from student accounts.
During the incident this morning, Jerry Kovacich, a third-year in welding engineering, witnessed a man in a motor vehicle try to drive into a crowd after a fire alarm went off. After the car crashed, the man then attacked bystanders with a knife.
“I didn’t see anything with the shooter, what happened was it was outside of MacQuigg Lab,” Kovacich said. “The guy ended up just coming and hopping the curb with his car and trying to mow down a couple people. He lost control, and I think he ended up hitting three people, and then people were around the car. Somebody asked him if he was OK and the guy just hopped out of the car with a butcher knife and starting chasing people around.”
A statement from Ohio State said that injuries sustained Monday morning include “stab wounds, injury by motor vehicle and other injuries that are being evaluated.”