Extra-Credit Assignment

Suspect Is Killed in Attack at Ohio State University That Injured 11

Eleven people were injured Monday on the campus of Ohio State University when a student veered his car onto the sidewalk, leaped out and stabbed several people with a butcher knife, law enforcement officials said. The attacker was shot dead within about a minute by a campus police officer.

   As journalist we are taught that the lead of a story should provide the main point(s) of what a story will be about. I think that this lead was very effective because it got straight to the point providing important information like the when, where, who (even though not specifically named) and what. Although the lead was effective in providing information about what happened I feel that it would have been even more effective if, at least, the police officer was named because the descriptions of the people who play a main part in the story seem very vague. 

This may also be seen as an effective method because as a reader you may be more inclined to keep reading to find out who these people were. 

Two law enforcement officials identified the suspected attacker as Abdul Artan, 18. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the name had not been made public. The officials said that Mr. Artan was of Somali descent.

This paragraph is effective because it provides readers a timeline of when journalist got and published their information- as this story is deemed “breaking news.” This paragraph follows up with a name for the student who attacked on campus. The reporter did a good job attributing the information, even thought there were no direct names given there was a source provided for the information. The flaw I found in this paragraph was the referral of Abdul Artan as Mr. Artan. According to APA style, no formalities should be used in journalistic writing. 

Investigators were looking into whether the attack was an act of terrorism and were seeking information on the student, Abdul Artan, a permanent United States resident from Somalia who was studying logistics management at Ohio State.

The F.B.I. was investigating comments on Facebook indicating that he may have felt Muslims were being persecuted, an investigator said.

I feel this paragraph is extremely ineffective in its content and order. The student’s first and last name did not have to be mentioned again. According to APA, once a person is named- first and last, then they are referred to by only their last name for the remainder of the story. In addition, the student’s major is irrelevant but as it is included I feel that it should have been placed in the second paragraph where he was originally introduced. The following paragraph about the Facebook comments are effective because it supports the previous statement about investigators looking into this as an act of terrorism.  

Last summer the student newspaper, The Lantern, published an interview with Mr. Artan in which he complained about being afraid to pray in public as a Muslim, because of people’s negative perceptions of the religion.

“I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media. I’m a Muslim, it’s not what media portrays me to be,” he told the newspaper. “If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don’t know what they’re going to think, what’s going to happen. But I don’t blame them. It’s the media that put that picture in their heads.”

This paragraph is effective because it provides further support for statements made earlier in the article. Although Artan was referred to as “Mr. Artan” again, the attribution was used correctly and the quote was effective because it provides readers with a background of the attacker and his possible mindset before and during the attack. 

The attack began at 9:50 a.m. Monday, when “this car suddenly appeared on the sidewalk,” said Angshuman Kapil, a graduate student. “It was in high speed, and it just hit whoever came in front of him.” The car stopped only when it rammed a concrete block, he said.

The driver leapt out, the authorities said, and began attacking people with a knife. A campus police officer, Alan Horujko, 28, shot Mr. Artan after he failed to follow orders to drop his weapon, and officials credited the officer with helping to save lives. All of the wounded were expected to survive, university officials said.

Six people were hit by the car, and five had stab wounds or lacerations, doctors said. They were being treated at three hospitals.

These paragraphs prove themselves to be important information to the article because it sets a scene for what happened on Monday morning on Campus. Providing a direct quote from a student who saw the incident happen provides a clear, vivid picture for readers. 

No evidence has emerged that Mr. Artan had any connection or allegiance to radical ideology. Though no terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attack, the Islamic State was updating its online audiences on the rampage on Monday.

Both the car-ramming and the knife attacks are now established forms of aggression inspired by the Islamic State. An attacker in Nice, France, used a delivery truck to kill dozens of pedestrians in July, and chats between an attacker in Würzburg, Germany, and his Islamic State handler indicate he was initially told to use a car to carry out his assault that same month, before he settled on using an ax because he did not have a driving permit.

The authorities in Ohio said that it was too soon to know what had motivated Mr. Artan, but that it was clear the attack had been deliberate. Mr. Artan’s Columbus home was surrounded by squad cars, crime scene tape and a bomb squad truck on Monday afternoon, and police officials said they were waiting for a search warrant.

Again, I feel that the placement of this paragraph is off. I don’t understand why the reporters would go from talking about the victims back to the attacker and his possible association with terrorist groups. I believe that the writers should have grouped this after Artan’s quote about his fear of praying in public.

“This was done on purpose,” said Chief Craig Stone of the Ohio State University police. “To go over the curb and strike pedestrians and then get out and start striking with the knife — that was on purpose.”

I think this quote was an effective way to transition to the campus population’s state of shock and how they handled the situation. 

The attack, initially reported as an “active shooter” by the university, stunned students who were returning to class after Thanksgiving break, leading to a 90-minute shelter-in-place warning and an admonition from campus officials to “Run Hide Fight.”

Haylee Gardiner, a sophomore, said she was on her way to a chemistry lab when the attack occurred.

“I saw a bunch of people running, and when they were running, they were screaming and yelling,” said Ms. Gardiner, who scrambled to a residence hall for shelter. “And then all of a sudden, I heard four or five gunshots.”

“Then there was a bang, a dust cloud, then shouting and screaming, and people just booking it in every direction,” Mr. Cody said. “Then, 30 seconds, a minute later, there were gunshots.”

During the chaos, students huddled in locked rooms, and some took to Twitter, posting photos from inside barricaded classrooms.

These paragraphs were an important part to the article because it highlighted the feeling on campus and how the university’s “Run Hide Fight” procedure saved the lives of many other students. The students were properly attributed and the quotes were very effective in describing the feeling and painting a picture of what happened.  

Ohio State administrators released little information about Mr. Artan, and parts of his background remained unclear. He was admitted to the United States in June 2014 as the child of a refugee, federal officials said, and was believed to be in his late teens or early 20s. He graduated cum laude from Columbus State Community College with an associate of arts degree, officials there said. He was on the Columbus State dean’s list in 2015.

Officer Horujko, who joined the university police last year, had also been profiled in The Lantern. An Ohio native and a graduate of the university, he said he had decided to be an officer after working in campus safety as a student.

This information is all fluff and does not add any value to the story. I believe it should be taken out all together because it provides no value to the nut graph of the story. 

This is important because it connects the Ohio State attack to similar attacks on other college campuses but highlights the university’s efforts to make campus a safer place since these previous shootings. 

Muslim leaders in Ohio praised the police for their response and urged the public not to make assumptions about the attacker’s motives.

“We as yet know nothing about the motivation of the attacker, but we do know of his Somali heritage, and that will be enough for some people to falsely link this tragic incident to the faith of Islam and to the Somali and Muslim communities,” said Roula Allouch, national board chairwoman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We must not jump to conclusions. It is important to let the investigators do their jobs.”

Gov. John Kasich also praised the police response, saying it showed “how much practice, how much training, how much expertise, how much coordination” existed among local law enforcement agencies.

“We are a strong, tough, resilient community,” he said.

Mayor Andrew Ginther of Columbus said that Monday was “one of those days you’re grateful for good training and great people across the board,” and urged unity in the days ahead.

This was a good way to end the article because it reinforces readers not to jump to any conclusions about the attacker and his motives or affiliations. This prevents biased and racist remarks or potential counterattacks. It also reinforces that the attack did not end it catastrophic tragedy by highlighting the active measures universities across the US are taking to provide a safe environment for campus communities. 


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