COLUMBUS (AP) – A police officer who shot and killed the man responsible for a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University a year ago credits his training for allowing him to quickly stop the man.
Ohio State Officer Alan Horujko says that training kept his world from collapsing in on him during the moments when he shot the attacker. “The training really kept me working through this, kept me processing this just completely ridiculous situation I found myself in,” Horujko said.
Horujko said in a videotaped interview released by the university Monday that he had completed a scenario involving a simulated knife attack only a month earlier.
Abdul Razak Ali Artan launched the attack that injured 13 people a year ago Tuesday.
Horujko said when he saw the car plow into a crowd of people in front of WattsHall, he thought the driver must have had a medical emergency. His thinking changed moments later. “As I was getting out and running up to the vehicle I noticed the driver’s side door was open which was kind of weird and there was nobody inside,” Horujko said.
Then he heard what he described as a secondary wave of screams. “Something definitely was not right,” Horujko said. “I drew my gun and said what’s going on and someone said, ‘he’s got a machete’.”
Horujko says he spotted the suspect running from the crash scene with a large knife. “He was kind of going up and down the street diagonally…chasing anybody he could reach, slashing pretty wildly at anybody,” Horujko said.
Horujko says he yelled at the suspect to drop the knife and chased him down the street. “I really had no opportunity to safely take a shot at him because there were so many people in the area,” Horujko said.
Finally, he says, Ali Artan turned and came right at him with the knife. At that point, Horujko fired his weapon killing the suspect. “All I knew was people were being hurt and I didn’t like that,” Horujko said. “It’s just that simple. I didn’t really think about the danger. I didn’t really think about any of the other stuff or myself.”
“I’m grateful I was there. I felt like there was a plan that had me there that day,” Horujko said. “It seems like the stars aligned in some way to put me right there where I was needed to protect those people so I’m just very grateful that that happened.”
Horujko has declined interview requests, but the university said he agreed to share his experiences through the Ohio State-produced video as the anniversary of the attack approached.