COLUMBUS (AP) – A 2006 Graham High School graduate, now an Ohio State University student, says he escaped serious injury by fending off the man who staged a car-and-knife attack at the campus on Monday.
Andy Payne said he had gone outside Monday morning because of a fire alarm and watched as fellow OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan jumped the curb in his car and struck pedestrians outside a classroom building.
The 27-year-old Payne said Artan attacked him with a knife as he approached the car to help the injured.
Payne said he stopped Artan from stabbing him and escaped by grabbing the knife with his left hand. He is recovering at his suburban Columbus home after undergoing surgery Monday to repair tendons and nerves in his left hand.
Artan was killed Monday by a university police officer after driving his car into the pedestrians and attacking people with a knife.
Most of the victims were hurt by the car, and two had been stabbed, officials said. One had a fractured skull.
An Ohio State medical official said Tuesday that three of the 11 people injured in the attack remain hospitalized and are expected to make complete recoveries. Dr. Andrew Thomas provided an update during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
Classes for the 60,000 students at Ohio State, where Artan began taking classes this fall, were canceled after the attack but resumed Tuesday. The school planned a vigil for Tuesday night.
Engineering professor William Clark also spoke to reporters after being discharged Tuesday. Clark says he was struck by attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s car, tossed in the air and landed on concrete. Clark says he had surgery for deep cuts in his right leg.
Clark says he and some of his students were outside a classroom building after a fire alarm sounded for a gas leak. Clark says he will withhold judgment about Artan until more facts are known about his motivations.
The attacker railed on Facebook against U.S. interference in Muslim lands and warned, “If you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace” with the Islamic State group, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.
The posts from Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s account came to light after Monday’s violence.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that,” he wrote, using the Arabic term for the world’s Muslim community.
The posts were recounted by a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation but wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
“Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you Oh America!” Artan also wrote.
Dozens of FBI agents began searching Artan’s apartment for clues to what set off the rampage.
On Tuesday, a self-described Islamic State news agency called Artan “a soldier of the Islamic State” who “carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of international coalition countries.”
The Islamic State has previously described other attackers around the world as its “soldiers” without specifically claiming to have orchestrated the acts of violence.
Artan was born in Somalia and was a legal permanent U.S. resident, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.
A law enforcement official said Artan came to the United States in 2014 as the child of a refugee. He had been living in Pakistan from 2007 to 2014. It is not uncommon for refugees to go to a third-party country before being permanently resettled.
Upon arriving in the U.S., Artan was referred for a secondary Customs and Border Protection inspection, but nothing abnormal was found, according to a U.S. official who was briefed on the investigation but was not authorized to discuss it and spoke on condition of anonymity. A secondary inspection is often routine and based on someone’s travel history and length of stay in certain countries.
Artan started college that fall and graduated with honors from Columbus State Community College last May, earning an associate of arts degree. A video of his graduation ceremony shows him jumping and spinning on stage and smiling broadly, drawing laughs, cheers and smiles from graduates and faculty members.
An official at Catholic Charities of Dallas says the organization briefly offered aid to Abdul Razak Ali Artan and his family when they first moved to the United States in 2014.
CEO Dave Woodyard told KXAS that Artan arrived in Dallas with his mother and six siblings on June 5, 2014. Woodyard said the Somali family arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport from Pakistan through Kennedy Airport.
He said the organization gave the family shelter and aid as part of the government resettlement program. He said the group’s records show the family received shelter for 23 days before leaving for Ohio.