There were also multiple reports of gunfire, though the only confirmed injury that I have been able to discern from the news I have been combing is a professor who was struck in the leg by a machete. All told 8 people have been transported to Columbus-area hospitals.
As is always the case in events like this, initial reports are inaccurate at best, flat-out wrong at worst. Internet provocateur Pamela Geller is labeling the attack as the work of an Islamist cell, though I have found nothing remotely confirming that at this time. The modus operandi of a car ramming and edged-tool would certainly make that a possibility. Especially if reports of a fire-alarm being pulled prior to the attack which started with a car being driven into a crowd of students who had evacuated the building.
The incident was initially reported as an “active shooter” situation, but while some of the victims had knife wounds, none had gunshots, a law enforcement official told NBC News. A student also reported seeing a car plow into a crowd.
A campus lockdown was lifted about 11:30 a.m. with the university reporting that the “scene is now secure.”
Police had not yet provided a full account of what unfolded, but witnesses described a crowd of students being rammed by a car and then attacked by a knife-wielding assailant.
“This car just swerved and ran into a whole group of people,” said Nicole Kreinbrink, who was walking down the street when she saw the car hit people who had evacuated an academic building during a fire alarm.
“It hit a cop really bad.”
“All these people were running and screaming and yelling,” she added.
Jacob Bowers, an OSU sophomore, was sitting on a bench about 100 feet away when he noticed people running.
“Then I heard someone yell, ‘He’s got a knife.’ And I saw a guy with a big-ass knife just chasing people around. When I saw that, I grabbed all my stuff and started running,” Bowers said.
Bowers said he looked back to see a police officer on the scene. The officer yelled to the suspect, “Drop it a and get down or I’ll shoot,” and then fired on the suspect, Bowers said.
Stay tuned for more as it becomes available.
On a personal note, I would like to give a shout-out to “That School Up North”. Coming on the heels of one of the all-time classic editions of “The Game” this weekend, and knowing that there are still raw emotions, the U of M Athletic Department showed a lot of class in reminding everyone that there are some things more important than the greatest rivalry in college football, if not in all of sport.
It is worth calling attention to this act of kindness and support.