By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man armed with three knives began a stabbing spree in the admissions office of a technical school in a downtown office building Wednesday, injuring four people, including an employee of the state attorney general, before being shot by a police officer, authorities said.
Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner said the suspect confronted one victim in the admissions office of Miami-Jacobs Career College before 1 p.m. and stabbed him. He said other people intervened and took away a knife the suspect was using.
"We do know that one of the good Samaritans that came to aid the first victim — he was stabbed also," Weiner said.
Weiner said those who intervened didn't realize the suspect had other knives.
Four men, including the suspect, are in critical condition, and a fifth man has minor injuries. Police have identified the victims and the suspect but haven't released their names, Weiner said.
Two of the victims were either students or staff at the privately run school, Weiner said. Two other victims were outside in the lobby area when they were attacked, he said. All the stabbings occurred on the first floor.
One of the victims is employed by the state's attorney general, who has offices in the 25-story building, said a spokeswoman for Attorney General Mike DeWine. DeWine's office isn't there, and he wasn't present at the time, Lisa Hackley said.
She said she couldn't provide further details about the victim at the family's request.
A knife was recovered inside the school, and two knives were found near the suspect outside after he had been shot.
One officer used a stun gun on the suspect at around the same time that another officer shot him, Weiner said. Officials don't know whether the stabbing was random or stemmed from an earlier issue, he said.
Jason Jackson, who works at Gordon's Gourmet in the building lobby, said he heard that someone had been stabbed, so he ran out of the building.
When he came back to see what was happening, he saw the suspect outside.
"He had a knife, and the police had just pulled up, and they're saying, `Sir, you need to stop. You need to just put the knife down.' He wouldn't. They drew guns. `Sir, please put the knife down.' And he kind of lunged at them, so they shot him," said Jackson, 31, of Reynoldsburg.
Chuck Vella, a spokesman for the college, said everyone must sign in before entering the admissions office. He said security personnel are at every campus.
The privately run college has five other locations around Ohio. The trade school offers classes in massage therapy, security and investigation, criminal justice and court reporting.
The for-profit college is owned by Delta Career Education Corp., which is based in Virginia Beach, Va. A receptionist at the company said no one wanted to talk about the stabbings.
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The company's website said it has 37 campuses and 16,000 students nationwide.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press