A suspect in the incident at Ohio State University was killed after a campus lockdown lasting more than two hours, leaving students on campus unsure and on edge.
Tweets issued from the Columbus Fire Department told students to find shelter and to “Run Hide Fight,” the standard protocol for active shooting situations encouraging people to first attempt to evacuate, take shelter if unable to evacuate and to fight as only a means of last resort.
University officials issued a subsequent tweet saying: “Continue to shelter in place in north campus area. Follow directions of Police on scene.”
Students in Ohio State’s Koffolt Lab watched out the window as police officers shot the suspect outside Watts Hall. At least 11 students are in the hospital. Classes at the school were canceled for the rest of the day.
“We heard gunshots and ran to the windows to see officers shooting at the guy, and then he was just laying on the ground surrounded by blood,” said Ohio State sophomore Camille Bratton. “And then we were all just in shock. It was completely silent.”
The suspect reportedly had a knife.
Just before the suspect injured students at Watts Hall, a false fire alarm brought about 30 students out of the building, where a car attempted to hit many of them, Bratton said.
A resident in Bratton’s dorm building had been hit by the car.
“It’s been chaotic,” Ohio State sophomore Maheen Nadeem said. “There are really conflicting reports about what happened and whether it’s safe to go outside. None of us know what to think or what to do.”
Ohio State freshman Greg Antonini had been biking to class near the scene at about 10 a.m., unaware of the active shooter lockdown.
“I saw all these police cars and just thought it was a really bad accident,” Antonini said. “And then suddenly everybody outside was running as fast as they could to get into a building. It was really chaotic.”
Students were on lockdown in their classrooms and dorm buildings for several hours.
Watts Hall and the nearby buildings are laboratory buildings on OSU’s campus and administrators were worried by rumors of bomb threats, sophomore Andrea Thompson said.
Thompson sat for two hours in a locked classroom in a chemistry building next to Watts Hall. All gas lines had been shut off and the room was freezing, she said.
“I could hear a girl behind me crying quietly the whole time,” Thompson said. “When we could finally leave, it was like a mass exodus of students to the south part of campus, away from the shooting.”
Campus has been mostly deserted since the lockdown was lifted, Ohio State freshman Matt Orchard said.
Students remained unsure of whether campus was safe after the lockdown was lifted.
Orchard said he and most other students planned to stay inside the rest of the day.
“All these people keep texting and calling me, saying they heard something about this or that,” Orchard said. “But I have to keep telling them I don’t really know what’s going on. We’re holed up watching the news like everyone else.”
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