While police continue to investigate Monday’s attack that left 11 injured on Ohio State’s campus, here are five things to know surrounding the case.
1. Attacker’s social media posts examined
Federal law enforcement officials confirmed late Monday to CNN that attacker Abdul Razak Ali Artan wrote a Facebook post saying he had grown “sick and tired” of seeing fellow Muslims “killed and tortured.”
Law enforcement officials from Ohio State and the city of Columbus said Monday that they were investigating any ties to terrorism with help from federal authorities, but said it was too early to determine a motive.
Shortly before the attack, Artan posted a comment urging America “to stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah,” a term for Muslim people at large. “By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims,” he wrote. “You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.”
2. Political arguments over terror, guns
While university officials were urging unity on campus, some political leaders were already arguing about the role of Islamic terrorism and guns.
Josh Mandel, Ohio’s elected treasurer, tweeted: “Looks like Radical Islamic terror came to my alma mater today. So sad what happened at OSU. We must remain vigilant against Radical Islam.” He later tweeted the last line again.
Ohio Democrats fired back at the Republican Mandel. Michael Premo, the Ohio Senate Democrats’ chief of staff, tweeted, “Looks like knee-jerk islamophobia came to my state today. So sad what @JoshMandelOhio said. We must remain vigilant against prejudice.”
The gun debate also came into play. The attack was first reported as an active shooter, until it became clear that Artan used a car and knife, and was eventually shot by a police officer with a gun.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued a simple statement after the attack: “Thank God he didn’t have a gun.”
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association tweeted: “If there’s one lesson to be learned today, it’s this: In the right hands, guns are tools that protect & save lives #2A #OhioStateUniversity.”
3. Ohio legislature addressing campus gun issue
The Columbus Dispatch reported that the Ohio Senate could pass a bill this week that would reduce the penalty for carrying a gun on a college campus from a felony to a misdemeanor.
That issue is addressed in House Bill 48, which easily passed the Ohio House a year ago. The bill also would allow colleges to let people carry concealed handguns on campus.
The bill has been scheduled for a possible Senate committee vote on Wednesday morning. It’s unclear whether the Ohio State incident will change that timeline in any way.
The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the bill when it was in the House.
4. A huge roller coaster for OSU
The simple timing of Monday’s attack meant people on campus had gone through a wide range of emotions in just a few days.
Last week saw Thanksgiving celebrations on campus, followed by students saying goodbye to head home for a long holiday weekend. Then Saturday, Ohio State’s nationally ranked football team won an overtime thriller against their intense rival Michigan, buoying spirits on campus.
Then Monday morning, as thousands of students were returning to their normal routines and saying hello to those they hadn’t seen in almost a week, the attacker struck.
5. One-year anniversary of other incident
Monday’s attack happened 364 days after a man fired gunshots in the Wexner Center for the Arts on OSU’s campus. That incident happened on a Sunday morning when few people were there, and no one was hurt.
SWAT team members responded along with campus police, and found that the shooter had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The man was identified as a former campus security officer who resigned in 2009 to avoid being fired, according to the Columbus Dispatch.