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Ohio State University attacker was third-year student

American media reported Artan was of Somali descent, but university officials would not confirm that. Nor did they say what might have been the motive for the attack. Photograph: (Reuters)

Columbus, United States Nov 28, 2016, 09.49 PM (IST)

US police have identified the Ohio State University attacker as Abdul Razak Ali Artan. He was studying logistics management at the university, and was a third-year transfer student.  

Ali Artan drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians in the university and then went on to stab people with a butcher knife. Eleven people were injured in the attack, which ended with Artan being shot by police. None of the injuries sustained were life-threatening, officials said.

 

 

"We can tell you the suspect is an OSU student," Craig Stone, police chief at the university, told a news conference at which officials released the name of the suspect, news agency AFP reported.

"We do not have information at the moment on motive," added Monica Moll, public safety director at the university, saying only that the investigation was ongoing. 

The assailant was reported to be a Somali refugee by the US media but the officials did not confirm it.

A student of the same name was profiled in the August issue of student newspaper The Lantern, for an article in which he spoke of the lack of Muslim prayer rooms on campus, AFP reported. He also told the paper that he was uncomfortable of people's perception about him and was afraid to pray on campus.

"If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen," he said.

The suspect's car, a grey sedan, was identified through a network of surveillance cameras, Stone said.

"By tracking this vehicle, we could tell that the victim was in the car by himself," he said, adding that law enforcement did not believe any one else participated in the attack, but not ruling out the possibility that others might be involved.  

Law enforcement said the investigation was ongoing, not yet offering any motive for the attack. 

Ohio Governor John Kasich said said that Artan;s motive for carrying out the attack might never be clear.

Initial alerts in the university had suggested that a shooter was on site. Students and staff were warned to take shelter.

But the actual attack lasted mere minutes, officials said, with a responding officer fatal shooting the suspect. The officer was identified as 28-year-old Alan Harujko, AFP reported.

University officials canceled classes and offered student and staff counseling. 

(With inputs from AFP)

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