Lessons Learned from Ohio State Knife Attack

osu_emergency_sceneAuthor: Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner

Around 9:55 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) today November 295h, 2016, a suspect drove through the Ohio State University campus between Koffolt Laboratories and Watts Hall — a fairly congested throughway for students. He hit students with his car, proceeded to exit his car, and pulled a knife on students. The incident has left about 10 people injured with stab wounds, including one person in critical condition.

It is incidents like these that remind us to stay vigilant and alert. This is the first lesson to be learned from today’s events. Beyond being aware of your surroundings, you must be physically and mentally prepared by learning how to defend yourself in a knife attack and active shooter situation.

For most people, a workplace violence, terrorist, or any aggravated attack to any degree — a local school stabbing or active shooter to a full-scale bomb threat— is shocking. However, not being mentally prepared to handle a situation such as a stabbing is the primary fault for many victims.

First, once you realize an incident is occurring, be prepared to run, hide, or fight. Put yourself into a mindset that keeps you calm yet reactive. Try to run away from the situation and locate or call authorities who can help. If running is not possible, find the nearest room in which you can lock and barricade yourself while taking cover behind a large object that may provide protection or in a dark space that would be difficult for the perpetrator to navigate. Keep in mind that if you are hiding, you may also end up fighting. Wherever you are, fashion yourself an improvised weapon with which to fight if absolutely necessary

If you must engage in a fight with a suspect wielding a knife, you have three key goals: defend your vital organs, neck and face, incapacitate the perpetrator, and secure his/her weapon as swiftly as possible. Utilize any improvised weapons to increase the effectiveness of your attacked. Work in teams to the extent possible to neutralize the threat.

The situation at OSU brings a second lesson to light. When someone engages in any armed attack, more often than not, the incident ends by suicide or law enforcement incapacitating the perpetrator. Today’s situation ended with the suspect being shot dead to protect further innocent students from being harmed.

In an active shooter situation, you should enact the same logic: run, hide, fight. AEGIS offers a real-life active shooter training course in which students learn to ensure their personal safety and help those around them stay clear of danger.

The final lesson to take from this attack is the usefulness of emergency alert systems. For OSU, the Buckeye Alert notified thousands of students and staff to the emergency and even reminded them to run, hide, fight as necessary.

The biggest advantage to this type of mass notification is that the alert will blanket a majority of the audience intended to be notified. Even if only three phones go off with an emergency notification in every lecture hall on a campus, the thirty students in each hall will likely be notified. Such an outreach is critical to ensuring public safety in a terrorist attack.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.