Kirk Irwin/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — An Ohio State University student and Army veteran is recovering from a hand injury one day after he was slashed by a knife-wielding attacker who plowed into pedestrians with a car and then stabbed multiple people on the Columbus, Ohio, campus.
It began as a normal Monday morning for OSU senior Anderson Payne, a 28-year-old father of three and veteran who did two tours in Iraq. He told ABC News he was in class Monday when the fire alarm went off and students evacuated.
He said they were outside waiting for the all-clear from the fire chief to go back inside when someone drove around the corner, jumped the curve and “drove through the crowd of people standing outside of the building waiting to go back in.”
“My first instinct was it was someone just had an accident and lost control of their vehicle,” Payne said. “So as soon as the vehicle came to a stop I took a couple steps forward to assist with those that had just been hit by the car. And that’s when the individual exited the vehicle.”
Payne said the suspect appeared “very angry” but it wasn’t until he “caught the knife, out of the corner of my eye” that he “realized that this wasn’t an accident.”
Payne said the suspect “swung his knife to a person just at my right, and then he turned and went to swing the knife at me. And I reached up with my left hand and I grabbed the blade so that it couldn’t hit me and that gave me enough time to duck under his arm and make my way back into the building to get away from him.”
Payne said he ran directly into the building and then sought out EMS for his hand, which was bleeding.
“It was just chaos,” Payne said of the scene. “I didn’t see anything in particular, just lots of running individuals, trying to understand what happened and get away from whatever danger was around them.”
Authorities later identified the suspect as OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. After Artan slashed multiple people, an OSU police officer shot and killed him, ending the threat, officials said.
Authorities said late Monday a motive for the attack had not been determined. Sources told ABC News Monday that authorities were looking at a Facebook post to determine if it is connected to the suspect; the post reads, “I am sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE … I can’t take it anymore. America! Stop interfering with other countries … [if] you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks.”
The incident was initially reported by OSU officials as an active shooter warning shortly before 10 a.m. Less than two hours later, OSU police said the scene was secure and police lifted the shelter-in-place alert. Eleven people were transported to local hospitals, officials said. All are expected to survive, according to officials.
Payne, who suffered a stab wound to his left thumb, underwent surgery to repair the nerves and tendons in his hand and thumb.
He said he’s expected to face six to eight weeks of physical therapy to regain full mobility in his hand.
Payne told ABC News he doesn’t know if he’s “fully processed” what happened Monday.
“I’d like to remain optimistic and that everything will go back to normal in two months and it’ll be as if it didn’t happen, but we’ll see in two months if that’s the reality,” he said.
Payne said his message to others is to not live in fear or alter your daily life.
“If you live in fear, then this individual won and got what they wanted — to change our lives,” Payne said. “I refuse to let this change my life. It won’t affect where I’m going or what I’m doing. … I’m not going to let it change who I am — I like who I am and I don’t want this to affect anyone that I may come in contact with.”
Payne said he wishes “a speedy recovery to all involved,” adding, “I’m blessed.”
“Thank God that I was able to sustain the minimal injury that I did,” he said. “It could have been much worse and I think that’s only by the grace of God.”
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