Ohio State students had to react quickly Monday morning after getting public safety and social media reports of an active shooter, an attack that eventually sent at least nine people to local hospitals.
OSU sophomore Josh Fulker of Troy lives in a dorm on Woodruff Avenue, a block from the attack site on campus.
“I heard about four or five shots and people started running toward our building,” Fulker said. “They were frantically trying to get into a bunch of different buildings.”
Fulker said as students got the initial notification of the attack, residents of his dorm started coming out of their rooms and going to the windows to see what was going on.
“We get a lot of fake calls and stuff like that where there are a lot of bomb threats,” he said. “But it does surprise you. You don’t expect something like this to happen to your campus.”
OSU student Nigeria Talley said the combination of a fire alarm and the attack created confusion.
“I was walking to class, and I saw a lot of people running back, so I went back (to the building),” she said.
Talley said at that point she was aware of the active shooter threat that was sent out by university police, so she expected people to shelter in place. But because of the fire alarm in the building she was in, they were told to leave. She said students then just tried to get as far away from the scene as possible, and she complimented supervisors on the scene for telling people where to go.
Fulker said Ohio State generally does a good job with security, adding that he usually doesn’t go more than a few minutes on campus without seeing an officer.
“They did a very good job of responding,” Fulker said. “As soon as I heard shots and saw people running, there were sirens.”
The campus spans miles of the city, and students who were very close may have seen and heard what happened. But tens of thousands of others were searching for solid information in the first hour of the incident.
Fulker said when students saw SWAT personnel walking around outside his dorm, they were running from room to room to look out different windows, trying to see what was going on.
“Everybody is still in a state of shock … a state of panic,” Fulker said.