British professor injured in Ohio State rampage refuses to judge ‘ISISinspired’ attacker

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Ohio State University engineering Professor William Clark, 68, was one of 11 people injured during the 18-year-old student’s bloody rampage on Monday.

But after being discharged from the university’s medical centre, Mr Clark told a press conference on Tuesday that he intends to reserve judgement until he knows all the details.

The Oxford-educated professor said he returned to his office at 9am on Monday morning after teaching and was making coffee when a fire alarm went off due to a gas leak in another building.

The building – Watts Hall – was evacuated with Mr Clark and other faculty and students waiting outside when Artan’s silver Honda drove into the crowd.

Mr Clark said the car clipped the back of his leg and “basically flipped me up in the air” before sending him crashing down to the concrete.

The logistics management student then got out of the car and began stabbing at the crowd.

Meanwhile, Mr Clark got up and was hurrying back to the building to seek refuge when he heard the sound of three gunshots, fired by the university’s police officer Alan Horujiko, 28, which shot Artan dead.

But despite his traumatic ordeal, the professor – who completed his doctorate at Oxford University before moving to the States 30 years ago – says he will not condemn his attacker, and has described the event as “tragic” and “sad”.

He said: “At this stage, until we really know all the facts, I”d prefer to hold judgement.

“Having been a faculty member for 35 years, I”m all too aware of the things that drive students to do things they wouldn”t ordinarily do.

“So before I pass judgement on this young man, I would like to see exactly what the circumstances are and exactly why he took the course of action that he chose to.”

Mr Clark added: “[Artan] graduated from Columbus State [Community College] in the summer or spring and the pictures from the graduation show a jubilant young man, so for this to happen four or five months later, yes, I would be very interested to know what all the circumstances were.”

The professor expressed regret over Artan’s rampage.

He said: “I decided on a career in universities because I think there”s some sort of calling – taking young people at 17 or 18 and you”re trying to turn them into functional adults.

“And that doesn”t just mean you”re training them in the classroom. You”re also trying to show them how to live life. So whenever anything like this happens, I think it”s absolutely tragic.

He added: “It”s tragic for the people who are hurt, it”s tragic for the young man”s family and relatives if they weren”t implicated in anything sinister. So I think it”s just very, very sad.”

Although Artan’s motive is unknown, authorities believe he was inspired by Islamic State propaganda and deceased Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.

Posts on the student’s Facebook page reference Awlaki, who was leader of al Qaeda in Yemen.

Authorities have also noted the style of the attack mimicked instructions in a recent ISIS magazine.