A man who plowed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and then got out and began stabbing people with a butcher knife before he was shot to death by an officer Monday morning, was a 20-year-old native of Somalia, Fox News reported Monday afternoon.
Nine people were hurt, one critically, and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said it was being investigated for possible terror links. The FBI and other agencies joined the investigation.
The details emerged after a morning of confusion and conflicting reports that began with the university issuing a series of tweets warning students that there was an "active shooter" on campus near the engineering building and that they should "run, hide, fight."
Numerous police vehicles and ambulances converged on the 60,000-student campus, and authorities blocked off roads.
Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said that the attacker drove over a curb outside a classroom building and that an officer who was nearby because of a gas leak shot the driver in less than a minute.
Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student, was outside the building when the car barreled onto the sidewalk.
"It just hit everybody who was in front," he said. "After that everybody was shouting, 'Run! Run! Run!'"
Student Martin Schneider said he heard the car's engine revving.
"I thought it was an accident initially until I saw the guy come out with a knife," Schneider said, adding that the man didn't say anything when he got out.
The shelter-in-place warning was lifted about an hour and half later and the campus was declared secure after police concluded there was no second attacker, as rumored.
At least two people were being treated for stab wounds, four were injured by the car and two others were being treated for cuts, university officials said.
The attack came as students were returning to classes following the Thanksgiving holiday break and Ohio State's football victory over rival Michigan that brought more than 100,000 fans to campus on Saturday.
Rachel LeMaster, who works in the engineering college, said a fire alarm sounded before the attack.
"There were several moments of chaos," she said. "We barricaded ourselves like we're supposed to since it was right outside our door and just hunkered down."
LeMaster said she and others were eventually led outside the building and she saw a body on the ground.
Classes were canceled for the rest of the day.
The initial tweet from the university's emergency management department went out around 10 a.m. and said: "Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College."
Ohio State President Michael Drake said the active-shooter warning was issued after shots were heard on campus. Those shots apparently were police gunfire.
"Run, hide, fight" is standard protocol for active shooter situations. It means: Run, evacuate if possible; hide, get silently out of view; or fight, as a last resort, take action to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter if your life is in imminent danger.
This story has been corrected to show that the fire department said seven people have been sent to the hospital after a report of an active shooter at Ohio State University, not that it said seven people have been sent to the hospital after a shooting at Ohio State University.
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