O’Donnell: Police officer at Ohio State used modern response tactic

Col. Steven O'Donnell

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — The response to Monday’s attack at Ohio State University was an example of the evolving dynamic for responding to an active shooter situation, according to Eyewitness News Law Enforcement Analyst Steven O’Donnell.

The car and knife attack that took place Monday morning sent nine people to the hospital. The attacker was shot to death by a first responder, a 28-year-old Ohio State University police officer.

“Police respond quickly to the scene. they assess it. Then, in this case, they do what they are trained to do before it goes any further,” said O’Donnell.

That wasn’t always the strategy, though, explained O’Donnell. In the past, officers were taught to back off and protect and wait and then bring in the cavalry.

“The amount of casualties continues to grow quicker and quicker in those active shooter situations so law enforcement changed in order to intervene quicker to minimize the body count.”

The possibility of terrorism will require local law enforcement agencies to work together on a national scale for further investigation, added O’Donnell.

O’Donnell said civilians should become familiar with the phrase: run, hide or fight.

“Law enforcement doesn’t encourage anyone to fight,” he said, advising anyone in a similar situation to first try running away or hiding. At least resort, fight the attacker or use a distraction.