COLUMBUS—Columbus police shot a man on a Downtown street shortly before 1 p.m. today after responding to a call about multiple stabbings inside the Continental Centre at 150 E. Gay St.
The investigation has closed 4th Street between Broad and Long streets. Other streets in the area also are closed.
Sgt. Rich Weiner, a police spokesman, said four men were taken to area hospitals with stab wounds. Three are in critical condition at Grant Medical Center. One was taken to Mount Carmel West hospital with more minor injuries.
The suspect is in critical condition at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University, Weiner said.
Jim Gilbert, president of the local police union, said arriving officers saw a man with two knives outside the building. When he came toward them, one officer shot him, Gilbert said.
The 27-story building, known as the Continental Centre, houses offices for the Ohio attorney general, AT&T and the Columbus campus of Miami-Jacobs Career College, among others.
One of the stabbing victims is an employee in Attorney General Mike DeWine's office, a spokesman confirmed this afternoon. The spokesman would not identify the employee or say how he was stabbed.
The attorney general's office has 561 employees in 12 sections housed on upper floors of the Continental Centre.
The assailant, armed with a knife, confronted a man inside the Miami-Jacobs admission office and stabbed him, Weiner said. The office is off the first-floor lobby of the building.
Others came to the victim's aid and disarmed the assailant, but the man pulled out another knife and the fight spilled out into the lobby, Weiner said.
Two stabbing victims were associated with the college, and two were stabbed in the lobby, he said. All of the victims have been identified, but their names have not been released.
Three knives were found, Weiner said.
Nine people called 911 with reports of victims being stabbed or shot.
One call described an assailant wearing a black sweat shirt, black pants and boots. The caller said the man was a student at the college.
Miami-Jacobs is a private school that offers job training in several areas, including court reporting, criminal justice and health-related careers. It also has cosmetology programs, including massage therapy and nail technician training. Students run the Serenity Spa, which offers massage and body treatments and is open to the public.
Jason Jackson, 31, works at the Gordon's Gourmet stand in the lobby of the building. He said he heard a scream, then a security guard in the lobby told everyone to leave the building.
People tripped over each other trying to get out, Jackson said.
After exiting, he circled back and saw the knife-wielding man going toward officers. Police told him to drop his weapon, but instead, he lunged at an officer who then shot him, Jackson said. He estimated that he heard five or six shots.
Jeff Hutchinson, 49, of Parma, said he was walking near the Renaissance Hotel at 3rd and Gay streets when he heard seven to nine gunshots. Hutchinson said he walked east on Gay and saw a bloody man in handcuffs face down on the pavement surrounded by police.
Hutchinson is a Communications Workers of America union official attending a conference in Columbus.
Dean Mullikin, 49, of Xenia, was loading his truck outside the Continental Centre when dozens of panicked people began running out of the building.
"They were screaming and yelling, 'Get out of here,'" Mullikin said. "A couple of people yelled, "Bomb.'"
Among the people who fled the building were two men covered in blood, Mullikin said.
Reporters Randy Ludlow and Charlie Boss contributed to this report.
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