How To Help Ohio State Victims & The Community After This Tragedy

On Monday morning, news broke that an active shooter was reported on Ohio State University's campus in Columbus, Ohio. The latest report from The Washington Post stated that eight people were transported to the hospital, according to the Columbus Fire Division, and once person is in critical condition. Few details about the nature of their injuries are known at the time of writing.

Update: According to the latest reports, eight people remain hospitalized with one suspect confirmed dead. At least one of the hospitalized is listed as in critical condition, according to ABC News.Ohio State University released a statement that "Victim injuries include stab wounds, injury by motor vehicle and other injuries that are being evaluated." It also noted that law enforcement authorities "continue to respond to a public safety incident."

Just before 10 a.m. EST on Monday, Ohio State University students received emergency alerts from the university's office of emergency management, alerting them to an active shooter on campus, and urging them to "shelter in place/be observant/take action as needed," and "Run Hide Fight," according to CNN.

At about 11:30 a.m., the university announced that the shelter in place was lifted and the scene was secure. School officials said that the campus would remain open, but the all classes would be cancelled for the remainder of the day. CNN reported that a suspect, who used a knife and a car in his attack, had been killed. As reported by CNN, the location of the incident was Watts Hall, the campus' material science and engineering building.

At the moment, the information being shared by students on campus don't shed much more light on the situation, with some reporting to CNN that they observed a large police presence, along with fire trucks and ambulances, in the area around Watts Hall. According to CNN, some students in the area reported hearing "popping" before the alert went out.

However, while little has been confirmed at the time of writing, there are ways you can help the Ohio State victims.

1. Donate Blood

When there is a shooting, there is often a need for blood donations. If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and feel physically well enough, you may want to consider donating at a local blood bank. Red Cross provides a list of blood donation centers in Central Ohio on its website.

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2. Donate To The Victims

While this situation is still developing, the hospitalized will undoubtedly need help with their medical costs. In the coming days, look for crowd funding donation pages to be set up to help support the injured victims. You can also donate directly to the hospitals where the victims are being treated. The Columbus Dispatch reported that four victims went to OSU Wexner Medical Center, three were taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and and two victims went to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. All of these hospitals accept donations, and you can request to designate your gift to the Ohio State victims.

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3. Support Counseling Services

While chief concern right now is the physical safety of Ohio State University students and faculty and all those involved in this incident, mental health should not be ignored either. The American Counseling Association notes that mass shooting events "nearly always interrupt our sense of order and safety." If you know an Ohio State student in need of counseling, refer them to the university's counseling and consultation service. The ACA also says that the impact of these violent events "often extends to individuals who live far outside of the affected area with no personal connections to the event." If this incident has affected you or someone you know, don't be afraid to seek out counseling services, as well.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Ibagli

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