Editorial roundup

Nov. 29, The Columbus Dispatch on the car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University:

Much remains to be explained in the attack at Ohio State University on Monday that left one person dead and nine others injured. But it appears that law enforcement, university officials and students all played an important role in bringing the attack to a quick end.

The incident began at 9:52 a.m., when an OSU student identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan drove a vehicle into pedestrians near Watts Hall and then emerged from the car and began slashing people with a knife. Within moments, the assailant was challenged, then shot and killed by a university police officer. More than an hour passed as campus police, officers from the Columbus Police Division and Franklin County deputy sheriffs secured the scene and determined that the assailant had no accomplice.

The university sent out its first Buckeye Alert text message at 9:55, advising students and staff to “Shelter in place/be observant/take action as needed. Public Safety responding.” Students did their part by remaining calm, following directions and staying out of the way of officers as they worked to ensure that the threat had been eliminated.

At 11:14 a.m. the “shelter in place” order was lifted and by 11:30 a.m., the incident was declared at an end, though the university canceled classes for the rest of the day and some buildings remained closed.

Thanks also are owed to emergency medical workers who responded, and to Wexner Medical Center, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, each of whom cared for some of the victims. Some had been stabbed and others were suffering injuries sustained when the car hit them.

The courage of police and emergency medical personnel responding to such an incident shouldn’t be underestimated. When something like this happens, there is no way for responders to know what they are rushing into. Initially, there were reports that there was more than one assailant. The use of a car to attack pedestrians naturally is a reminder of the attack in Nice, France, last summer in which a terrorist used a truck to run over and kill more than 80 people.

This is a shocking event, but everyone involved can be proud of their response, which ended the attack quickly and ensured that the victims received prompt medical attention.