This morning, in Columbus, Ohio, local authorities reported that an active shooter was traveling around Ohio State campus. Campus police, as well as the Columbus Police and Sheriff, rallied together to reduce as much commotion as possible, along with providing safety to those around the perilous area.
TheColumbus Dispatch reported that two suspects rammed Watts Hall on campus around 9:40 a.m., one wielding a gun, and the other possessing a knife.
Around 10 a.m. Eastern Time, the Ohio State Emergency Department sent a message out to nearby residents and commuters.
“Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.”
They continued to demand people to look for shelter with another message shortly following the first one.
“Buckeye Alert: Continue to shelter in place. Avoid area of College. More information to follow.”
OSU newspaper the Lantern reported that there was a fire truck and ambulance near the area where the active shooter was reported. These alerts were frequent throughout the time that the shooter was active, for keeping the community aware of up-to-date news in order to create a stronger sense of security.
Police cars, fire truck and ambulance line 19th and College avenues near location where active shooter was reported pic.twitter.com/FKJXSMQnan— The Lantern (@TheLantern) November 28, 2016
As a result of the shooter being active, the campus issued a lockdown of places within the area where the shooter may be.
Social media proved to be a great asset to keep rightfully-concerned residents, family members, and friends abreast of what was going on. At 10:35 a.m., WTTE Fox 28 gave a report that at least seven people were injured and transported to a nearby hospital.
About 15 minutes later, the number increased to nine. Out of those nine, two people were reported to be in stable condition. This information was later updated to be one person being in critical condition, one being in stable condition, and one being evaluated at the scene.
The latest update regarding the shooter is that he was found dead. Also, there is currently a search on finding other suspects involved.
The scene has now been cleared, the lockdown is lifted, and authorities are now reporting that the area is once again safe. However, classes have been canceled for the rest of the day.
USA Today reported a number of students commenting on the incident.
“We saw a body covered with a white sheet.” – Peterson Pierre
“It’s honestly kind of terrifying because I was at home and away from my phone at the time. I got flooded with messages… asking me if I was safe and I didn’t even realize this was happening. Now I’m just scrambling to make sure that people I know are safe as well.” – Jenny Chen
“I was scared because it happened near our CBEC and business building and a lot of my friends were there.” – Victoria Morishita
The use of social media and strong support made this situation — that could have turned out to fatal for the innocent victims — much safer and secure.
Ohio Governor John Kasich showed his support via Twitter, stating that his thoughts and prayers are with the Ohio State community, as well as admonishing everyone to listen to the first responders.
Ohio's thoughts and prayers go out to the Ohio State community. Be safe, listen to first responders. https://t.co/5qtfH3Fb6d— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) November 28, 2016
There has yet to be a motive of why this occurred. With this happening so close to the rivaled Ohio State vs. Michigan game, many can suspect that it could have had something to do with the outcome. However, that is pure speculation and has not been confirmed.
Thankfully, there were no innocent victims fatally harmed in this incident. Moreover, the quick response of the Columbus authorities is something else to be acknowledged and commended. While social media can be a wacky world at times, it was utilized excellently in this particular case, and should remain a helpful tool to report serious issues such as this.
In an update, FOX News journalist Lisa Daftari has reported that the suspect was 20-year-old Somali refugee Ali Muhammad.
BREAKING: Ohio State University attacker ID'd as 20 yr old Somali American Ali Muhammad— Lisa Daftari (@LisaDaftari) November 28, 2016
Nationalist and ProjectPurge Founder Jared Wyand has been very vocal that this is terrorism-related.
????BREAKING: Deceased Ohio State University terrorist identified as Somali Muslim Ali Muhammad— Jared Wyand ???????? (@JaredWyand) November 28, 2016
He is commanded to do this???????? pic.twitter.com/70UiWFHIAA
You insisted Ohio take in Somali Muslims @JohnKasich knowing the inevitable terrorism they'd bring— Jared Wyand ???????? (@JaredWyand) November 28, 2016
Ohio State University is on you
It will be very interesting to see whether comments like these intensify as more information is revealed.
[Featured Image by John Minchillo/AP Images]