The “run, hide, fight” principals that law enforcement officials have been preaching to the public appeared to work well during an attack at Ohio State University earlier today, said Capt. Shane Healey of the Opelika Police Department. Ohio State’s warning and response system also seemed to work well, he said. Capt. Healey is part of the Auburn University Food System’s Food Defense Working Group.
Details are still sketchy, but about 9:40 a.m. someone activated the fire alarm at Watts Hall, home to the 58,000-student university’s chemical engineering department. As people hurried to evacuate the building, a man driving a silver car jumped the curb and rammed into the crowd. He then scrambled out of the car, wielding a butcher knife or machete, and began slashing. An OSU police officer who was immediately on the scene shot the assailant dead.
CBS News just tweeted that a 20-year-old Somali man has been identified as the suspect, but that has not been confirmed. It is worth noting that the Islamic State outlined very specific instructions for inflicting damage in a crowd by using a vehicle as a weapon in a recent issue of its monthly English-language magazine, Rumiyah. The terrorist organization also has urged recruits to stay home and do damage there rather than immigrating to the Middle East.
Originally, there were reports of a second attacker with a gun, and police followed up by searching a nearby parking garage. Although they led two young men out in handcuffs, police later said there were no other suspects. At least nine people were transported to local hospitals, some with stabbing wounds and some with injuries from being hit by a motor vehicle.
Capt. Healey gave more details about the “run, hide, fight” strategy in a recent blog post called “Why can’t we eat in peace?” The post apparently struck a nerve with the public, as local news reporter Elizabeth White featured the post on her Facebook page, where it was “liked” and commented on by more than 12,000 people. READ MORE