At 9:52 a.m., Ohio State police officer Alan Horujko made a call to dispatch concerning a gray Honda Civic that had jumped a curb and hit approximately seven to eight students, The Lantern, OSU’s student newspaper, reported. After Horujko reported, “Officer in trouble,” the driver of the vehicle, a man armed with a knife, exited his vehicle and began attacking individuals.
At approximately 10 a.m., Haleigh Staugler, a freshman at OSU, who said she overslept her 9 a.m. class, checked her phone.
“I immediately had, like, 26 texts from friends ask me where I was, telling me to stay put,” she said in a phone interview with the University Press. “I immediately just went into our group chat, no idea what was going on, and I asked them, ‘Um, guys, what the heck is happening right now? Like, why is everybody texting me?’
“I found the alert from my school that said, ‘Active Shooter on campus. Run, Hide, Fight.’ That’s when all of my friends started replying back in the group chat, they were like, ‘Where are you? There’s an active shooter. You’re not out, are you?’”
LUPD’s public information officer, Cpl. Jarrod Samford said OSU’s ‘Run Hide Fight’ message, trademarked by the City of Houston, is similar to the principles found in the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) program he teaches at Lamar.
“It’s avoid, deny and defend, just like, ‘Run Hide and Fight,’” Samford said. “You avoid the situation if possible. If you cannot avoid the situation, you do things to keep the person from getting to you. Deny them access to you and the people that are around you. And then, if that doesn’t work, and they still are able to get in, you have to defend yourself — you have to fight, like your life depends on it, because it probably does.
“But I think, if you just tell the average person without them having any understanding of those three principles, it doesn’t make any sense.”
After being reassured her classmates were OK, Staugler said she sat in her friend’s dorm with about 10 other students.
“All of us had different news sources up, all of us were trying to get in contact with all of our friends that we knew had classes on that side (of the campus),” she said. “We luckily got ahold of everyone.”
Staugler said there was little dependable information at the time.
“Nothing was being released,” she said. “All we knew was there was an active shooter. We heard nine people were injured. Somebody told us it was nine people shot.”
Staugler said her roommate texted her she was safe within the basement of a building right by where the incident took place.
“She said the SWAT team came in and made sure they got down to the basement and searched them all,” Staugler said. “She was really shaken up about that. The worst part was we had no idea what was happening.”
Samford said it sounds as though the police at OSU went in with the right mindset.
“We’re trained to stop the shooter, first and foremost,” he said. “The way they’ve got other agencies, we’ll have the same thing here.
“We’re not going to wait on those guys. We’re going to — even regular Joe Blow officer — we’re going to go in, and we’re going to go stop the threat. That’s the way we’ve trained.”
Staugler said students within her friend’s dorm used police scanners on their phones.
“We knew there were knife attacks, but we didn’t hear anything about gunshots,” she said. “We were confused, because we had heard people were shot. It was just really crazy.”
At 11:34 a.m., OSU lifted the shelter-in-place order.
“We all kind of just stood in our lobby area and waited for our friends to come back, to make sure they got back,” Staugler said. “Then we just spent the rest of the day together, waiting to figure out what the heck happened.”
At 12:17 p.m., the attacker was confirmed to be shot and killed by officer Horujko.
The attack left 11 people injured, including at least one faculty member, one staff member and seven students.
Samford, said an incident like this could happen anywhere and students should be vigilant.
“You see that this type of stuff is happening all over the world,” he said. ‘There’s a possibility, whether it’s in schools, or malls, or churches, or anything, there’s that possibility something like that can happen.”
Staugler said students at Ohio State are ready to move on.
“I feel like we’re just mostly ready to get back to normal,” she said “We were on a high starting Monday, because we had just beaten our rivals (at football). Beating Michigan is a huge thing for us every year, so everybody was really pumped up, and then, all of a sudden that was completely taken away from us.”
According to OSU president Michael Drake, during a vigil held Tuesday evening, all but one of the victims who were transported to OSU Medical Center have been released. About half of the victims in surrounding hospitals have been released, and the rest are expected to be released soon.
Staugler said the OSU community is recovering and remaining positive.
“Everybody’s stable,” she said. “Everybody’s going to be okay — it wasn’t an actual shooting, so, to me, that’s the most relieving part — that it wasn’t near as bad as what it could have been.”
UP multimedia editor