UPDATE 4:39 PM
In what comes as no surprise to any human being on earth (with the possible exceptions of President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, and Obama would be pretending), the attacker has been identified as a recent Somali refugee and a student at Ohio State University. His name is Abdul Razak Artan, and he gave a brief interview to the school newspaper on August 25 of this year (page 5 here), in which he said he was a transfer student from Columbus State, and complained about the lack of prayer rooms at OSU and the bad press Muslims have gotten in general:
I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media,” he stated. “I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be.”
I wonder what the media will portray him to be this time.
This is a breaking story, and as such the facts are subject to revision. But here is what we know so far:
Police confirm the suspect who drove a car into a crowd of people and began attacking them with a butcher knife on the campus of The Ohio State University is dead.
Columbus fire officials tell NBC4 nine people were transported to local hospitals, and all nine victims have non-life-threatening injuries…
OSU president Michael Drake says the sole suspect drove a car into a group of people, got out and began to cut them with a butcher knife. A police officer arrived within a minute of the attack and shot and killed the attacker.
“Within one minute”—that’s a very very speedy response, which is good. But it shows just how much damage can be done with “ordinary” weapons like a car and a knife, and how quickly.
In other, only tangentially related news, Charleston church shooter Dylan Roof is being allowed to represent himself in his trial. I am uncomfortable with this, as was the judge who decided it. This is a capital murder case, and although I have no sympathy whatsoever with Roof himself and his heinous crime, I think the bar for declaring someone able to defend him/herself in a death penalty case should be especially high, because of the extreme gravity of the outcome and the need for a fair trial.
Roof may indeed be competent to stand trial in the sense that he is able understand the charges and to assist in his or her defense by cooperating with counsel. But that’s a far cry from handling the defense himself. But perhaps once someone is declared competent, he/she is considered by law to be competent in making the decision to defend him/herself, too.