Alan Horujko is being hailed as a hero after the University State University police officer responded in seconds to an attack on campus, shooting and killing the suspect in an act that likely saved many lives.
Horujko was the first to respond to the scene of Monday’s attack, when 18-year-old student Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove his car through a crowd of students and then exited the vehicle with a knife to continue the attack, The Associated Press reported. The officer happened to be responding to a report of a gas leak at the time of the attack and saw the suspect attacking students.
Alan Horujko opened fire on the suspect, killing him. Though more than 10 people were injured in the attack, all survived.
“It was fortunate that (the gas leak) did happen as it helped the officer be in the right place at the right time,” OSU Police Chief Craig Stone said.
“He was able to see this whole thing happen and take immediate action.”
Alan Horujko was hailed as a hero from local and state officials, including Ohio Governor John Kasich.
“When you think about this timeline, from 9:52 to 9:54, it shows how much practice, how much training, how much expertise and how much coordination took place between campus police and (other agencies),” Kasich said.
“Think about what this tragedy could have meant… and fortunately from what I am understanding is that they are expecting a full recovery.”
Horujko also met personally with the university’s president, Michael Drake.
“I thanked him for following his training and neutralize the circumstances within roughly one minute,” Drake said.
Students who witnessed the attack also said Horujko’s actions likely saved several lives. Because suspected attacker Abdul Artan exited his vehicle with a knife, witnesses said he had a difficult time attacking the panicked crowd. It was then that Horujko arrived on the scene and brought an end to the attack.
“Luckily there were so many people he couldn’t focus on one target,” student Jacob Bowers told ABC News.
“I didn’t see anyone get stabbed but I saw the police officer take down the stabber. He saved lives today.”
Horujko is a 2012 graduate of Ohio State University, working as a Student Safety Service officer for his final two years, WCMH reported. He graduated from the Delaware Area Career Center’s police certification program in 2013 and then joined the OSU Police Department in January 2015.
Horujko talked about his decision to become a police officer in an interview with the Ohio State University campus newspaper, The Lantern, saying he could not have envisioned finding traditional office work after graduating college.
“That’s kind of what led me to wanting to become a police officer,” said the former engineering major, who changed his major to pursue law enforcement.
“I just couldn’t see myself sitting in a cubicle.”
Those who know Alan Horujko said he is a dedicated officer and was a well-rounded student. Jill Wilhelm, who served as band director at Fairfield High School near Cincinnati where Horujko attended and played clarinet in the marching band, said he always had strong values.
“He comes from a wonderful family, and they instilled in him some great values. He was fun-loving in high school and very out-going,” Wilhelm told the Dayton Daily News.
The Dayton Daily News noted that Horujko also has some big plans in her personal life. He has plans to marry fiance Jacqueline Black in Columbus next October, the outlet noted. The report noted that the couple met in college in 2007 and began dating in 2014. They got engaged this year in Chicago.
[Featured Image by Ohio State University Police/AP Images]