Police responded to the scene immediately and fatally shot the suspect, but the campus remained under lockdown for an hour and a half.
Police currently believe Abdul Artan, a Somali citizen studying at OSU, was inspired by ISIS propaganda. Artan posted on his Facebook page Monday morning before the attack urging America to stop interfering with other countries and Muslim people.
ISIS has also claimed credit for the attack and called Artan a soldier, though there is currently no proof the attack was actually planned by the terrorist group.
“By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims,” he wrote. “You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday.“
Michael Drake, president of OSU, encouraged the public not to jump to conclusions about the attack in a news conference Monday.
“We all know when things like this happen that there’s a tendency sometimes for people to put people together and create other kinds of theories,” he said. “We don’t know anything that would link this to any community. We certainly don’t have any evidence that would say that’s the case.”
Randy Young, a spokesperson for the UNC Department of Public Safety, said the campus police take events throughout the country into account when developing UNC’s safety protocol.
“We discuss not only high-profile events that are coming up on campus, but also other things that happen off the campus, such as tragic events like this one,” he said.
“We try to draw from them the best practices — the things that work and the things that don’t.”
Young said the department has been evaluating the efficiency of emergency messaging protocols over the past year. This summer, they implemented a program that sends out Alert Carolina messages to the campus with the push of one button.
“If we have identified an imminent threat on the campus, this cuts down the many steps of sending those notifications out to the campus into the push of one button,” he said. “As a result, it streamlines communication efficiency from 15 minutes to about three minutes.”
Stephanie Monmoine, a sophomore at UNC, said she doesn’t think yesterday’s events will affect the way she acts on campus.
“I don’t think something of that magnitude hits you until you have a personal investment in it,” she said.
Monmoine said the scariest part of the attack is how it could have easily happened at UNC.
“It could happen at Ohio State — it could happen anywhere,” she said.
Young said constantly re-evaluating campus safety protocol is key to preparing for attacks like the events at OSU.
“Our procedures are in a constant state of review so that if the unthinkable happens, we have the best practices in place.”