John Minchillo/AP

At a coffee shop just off campus, students meet up to study or catch up with friends. Monday afternoon, Ohio State University senior Mohamed Farah was catching up on his homework.

“I didn’t get a lot of work done today just because there’s a lot going on,” says Farah. “I tried to stay away from the news but I kept going back to it.”

Esther Honig/WOSU 89.7

Farah first learned of the attack when campus security sent a text to the entire university: “active shooter on campus: run, hide, fight.”

But the attacker did not use a firearm. According to police he drove a car into pedestrians, then got out and attacked people with a butcher knife. 11 people were injured before police shot the suspect dead.

Farah says at first he feared for the safety of his friends and fellow students. Then as more details were confirmed, his fears turned inward.

“When I first heard that he was Somali, I mean my stomach did fall,” says Farah. “Not just because of what happened today but because of what will happen tomorrow.”

Police identified the suspect as Adbul Razak Ali Artan, whom the Associated Press reported was a refugee from Somalia.

Farah is a Somali refugee and a Muslim. He says attacks blamed on terrorism have a familiar aftermath on campus: snide comments, peering eyes and a feeling of uneasiness.

“Those Somali men and women, the ones that wear a head scarf or the ones like myself with the name Mohammed, tomorrow will be a day of trepidation,” said Farah.

Looking through tweets, he said the negative ones from his fellow OSU students were the most painful, like one that says, as a Somali refugee, Artan “bit the hand that fed him.”

“That one really, it shakes the core of you, you know,” says Farah.

At the moment little is known about Artan. Authorities believe he acted alone but they do not know the motives behind his attack. Last August the recent transfer student was interviewed by the school newspaper in a series called “Humans of OSU.” Artan said he didn’t feel comfortable praying on campus.

Esther Honig/WOSU 89.7

“If people look at me, a Muslim praying,” he said, “I don’t know what they’re going to think.”

Horsed Noah, the director of one of the largest Islamic centers in Columbus, runs a youth group for Somali men and women. He says he didn’t know Artan, but reading that interview, Noah thinks the young man had become isolated.

“That definitely should have been a red flashing light,” says Noah.

Noah says when he first heard about the attack at OSU he had one thought.

“I was with my wife and I said I hope he is not a Muslim,” he says.

Monday, Noah held community meetings to calm parents and children who are scared to return to work and school. He says his community is as shocked as every other citizen in this country.

Today classes for Farah and the rest of OSU’s students will resume.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t dreading it, but I don’t think I’m going to skip class. I think I’m going to be there. I’m going to have conversations,” says Farah. “I choose love. I affirm life.

Mohamed Farah says he is as proud as ever to be a Buckeye.