COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Tuesday marks a somber anniversary on the campus of Ohio State University.
It’s been one year since a man carried out a car-and-knife attack on campus. Yesterday, the first interview with the officer who stopped the attack was released.
Officer Alan Horujko said that day started out as a slow day. He was working a 16-hour shift, directing traffic at a building where a gas leak had been reported. That’s when he saw the car go up on the curb at Watts Hall.
In an interview released by OSU, Horujko said he initially thought the driver of the car was having a medical emergency as the vehicle drove onto the curb and hit a group of people. He realized that wasn’t the case when he heard more screaming and saw the car door wide open with no one at the wheel.
“The senses went off that something’s definitely not right,” Horujko said. “I drew my gun and said, ‘What’s going on?’ And someone said ‘he’s got a machete.’”
He said his training took over.
“And somehow, I just remember time really slowing down and I was able to pick up this guy running with a large butcher-style knife,” Horujko said.
Horujko chased the suspect, yelling at him to drop the knife.
“I remember him looking at me, looking back at the female he was chasing and then the front doors he was trying to get to,” he said. The suspect looked back at Horujko again and began running straight at him. That’s when Horujko fired his weapon, killing the suspect.
“The training is what really kept kid of my whole world from collapsing in on me,” he said. “Because [my thought] was ‘Okay, if there’s one, there’s probably another one.’”
After Horujko shot and killed the suspect, he ran back to where the car had crashed into the crowd of people, knowing that there could still be people who needed his help.
The suspect was later identified as Ali Artan. Before the attack, Artan left a note urging his parents to stop being “moderate Muslims” and pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State.
On Tuesday, OSU faculty, students and staff members will take part in a remembrance ceremony to honor the 13 people injured in the attack.