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28 Nov, 2016 15:03

Suspect dead, 10 injured in Ohio State University attack

Suspect dead, 10 injured in Ohio State University attack

Ohio State University in Columbus was locked down after a car crashed into a group of people on campus and the driver began attacking them with a butcher knife. The suspect was killed and ten were injured in the attack.

The Buckeyes got an alert message from the university authorities instructing them to “Run Hide Fight.” The incident was pinpointed to “Watts Hall. 19th [Avenue] and College [Road].”

The incident began when a car rammed into people outside of Watts Hall around 9:40am local time. The driver got out of the car, armed with a butcher knife and began attacking the group, OSU officials said in an afternoon press conference.

“This car just swerved and ran into a whole group of people,” student Nicole Kreinbrink told NBC News. “It hit a cop really bad.”

However, officials later said that no officers were injured. A cop was on scene within a minute of the start of the attack, and shot and killed the suspect within a minute.

A student tweeted out that the police “tackled” the suspect and surrounded him outside, but the report has not been officially confirmed.

There were rumors that the incident began with a fire alarm in Watts Hall, but officials said that there was no indication that there was such an alarm involved in the incident. They did say that there was a gas leak in a nearby building earlier in the day, and the Columbus Fire Department was already on the scene when the attack began.

Nine people were taken to the hospital, one of them in critical condition, OSU officials said. A tenth person was being treated for injuries at the scene and may still be transported to a nearby hospital.

The injuries were either lacerations from the butcher knife or orthopedic in nature due to the car ramming people on the sidewalk, Dr. Andrew Thomas, the chief medical officer at OSU's  Wexner Medical Center said.

The attack was "done on purpose," police said, but noted that it was too early in the active investigation to know whether there was a tie to terrorism.

The FBI was called in to assist with the OSU Police Department, who is taking the lead, the FBI's Cincinnati office tweeted.

The suspect was described as “male, black, light complexion, short hair,” according to scanner traffic.

OSU's flagship campus in Columbus has nearly 60,000 students. It is one of the country's largest universities.

Watts Hall is the engineering building.

Facebook activated a Safety Check for the incident, allowing people in Columbus to mark themselves as unharmed.

Two men who were taken into custody in the Lane Avenue parking garage are not considered suspects, police said.

The shelter in place was lifted after an hour and a half, though some locations on campus remain closed, OSU Police said. Classes have been canceled for the remainder of the day.

The suspect has been preliminarily identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a college student from Somalia who was in the US as a legal permanent resident, according to NBC News’ Tom Winter.