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BHS Students and Alumni Respond to OSU Attack

The courtyard outside Watts Hall where the Nov. 28 attack occurred. Image source: AddisWang via Wikimedia Commons.

The courtyard outside Watts Hall where the Nov. 28 attack occurred. Image source: AddisWang via Wikimedia Commons.

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On the morning of Nov. 28, Abdul Artan, an Ohio State University student, drove his car into a group of students and staff who were standing outside due to a fire alarm at Watts Hall, which houses the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

It was originally reported that there was an active shooter on campus, or possibly two. After a SWAT team search, it became apparent that it was a car and knife attack carried out by an individual attacker.

After he hit students with his car, Artan got out and slashed students with a knife. Artan injured a total of 11 people.

This event sent shockwaves through the OSU community, and, subsequently, the Beachwood community, given that many BHS grads attend OSU.

“I couldn’t believe this was actually happening on my college campus,” BHS ‘14 alum and OSU junior Mitchell Escott said.

“In the beginning I was just trying to figure out what was actually happening because my friends were texting things that wasn’t on the news yet, so initially we were all just trying to make sense of it all,” Lisa Bolman wrote in an email. Bolman graduated from BHS in 2011 and is currently in graduate school at OSU studying physical therapy.

“Knowing a place I lived for so long being attacked was very upsetting, but I still feel very comfortable walking on Ohio State’s campus,” said Sam Bernstein, who graduated from BHS in 2010 and OSU in 2014.

Of the 11 victims, all have been released from hospitals around Columbus, including the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Grant Medical Center, and Riverside Methodist Hospital, according to the Columbus Dispatch.  

I couldn’t believe this was actually happening on my college campus.”

— BHS ‘14 alum and OSU junior Mitchell Escott said.

Shortly after he began his attack, Artan was killed by a university police officer, Alan Horujko, who is being praised as a hero for helping to save many lives.

The campus was put on a lockdown, and a Buckeye Alert message was sent to students at 9:55 a.m., saying “Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”

Students and staff were on lockdown until 11:00 a.m., when the shelter in place was lifted.  Students tweeted pictures of desks stacked in front of doors and people barricading themselves inside classrooms.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack soon after it happened, but authorities have found no links between ISIS and Abdul Artan.  Authorities believe that this was a lone-wolf attack and the FBI is asking for the public’s help in tracing some of Artan’s steps the morning of Nov. 28.

Minutes before the attack, Artan posted a picture on Facebook of a document from a Dell computer that showed his anger towards the United States and stated that he has reached a boiling point and he vowed to “kill a billion infidels” to save a single Muslim.

OSU released a statement on its website:

“[Our] police and local law enforcement continue to respond to a public safety incident on Ohio State’s campus. A suspect has been shot and reported deceased. Victim injuries include stab wounds, injury by motor vehicle and other injuries that are being evaluated.”

The statement went on to say, “Our top priority remains the safety and security of our campus community. Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and their families.”

I wasn’t on campus at the time, but when I got back to campus a few days later, it felt like nothing happened.”

— Carly Brodax, BHS ‘15 alum and current OSU sophomore

Classes resumed on Tuesday, No. 29.

“It felt a little eerie walking on campus for the first time,” Escott said. “Most people are comfortable going back on campus because of how good the security is,” he added.

“I wasn’t on campus at the time, but when I got back to campus a few days later, it felt like nothing happened,” said Carly Brodax, BHS ‘15 alum and current OSU sophomore. “No one was talking about what happened, but campus still felt very safe.”

Artan was interviewed for an article in Ohio State’s school newspaper, The Lantern, in a feature called “Humans of OSU” at the beginning of this school year.  In the article, Artan spoke of his displeasure in trying to find a place to pray and how other students would view him.

Current BHS students who have applied to Ohio State were also shocked by the news.

“OSU is as secure as any other school in the country, if not more,” said senior Dana Kippen, who has applied to OSU. “I think it’s really scary that something like that could happen so close to home, but it’s impossible to prevent an act like that from happening.”

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BHS Students and Alumni Respond to OSU Attack