Columbus, OH - Ohio State University student and concealed carry activist, Tarak Underiner, was shot and killed early Thursday morning. Police have said that this was not a random act.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Police Officers were called to a residence near the campus, in the first block of East Northwood Avenue, just east of North Pearl Street, at about 12:30 AM. One of the victim's roommates had called 911 and said his friend had been shot at his residence. The roommate also said that Tarak Underiner was shot in his own room, and that he had heard someone run from the residence shortly after he heard multiple gunshots. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Columbus Police Department said that Tarak Underiner, age 20, had been shot several times. They also said that the shooting was not random and that it was not connected to the University. He was a staunch advocate of concealed carry rights and testified at the Ohio Statehouse in December, 2016, in support of the Republican-backed House Bill 48 and the right to concealed carry on campus. During his testimony, Tarak Underiner said “College campuses and the areas surrounding them present environments rich with potential victims. They’re willing to gamble we’re unarmed and it pays off.” The legislation was passed, although OSU officials have said they do not plan on taking up the optional provisions.
Tarak Underiner was not yet old enough to obtain his concealed carry permit in Ohio, where law requires that applicants be 21-years-old. Ohio law does not require a permit to own guns and keep them in the residence. Police said that there were guns in the residence but that it does not appear that he was shot with his own gun, although a final determination will be made by the coroner.
Columbus police also said that a dog that Underinder and his roommates had been caring for might also have been injured in the shooting. The dog is missing and only bloody fur was found at the scene.
According to The Blaze, Tarak Underiner was a member of the Ohio Students for Concealed Carry student group. Michael Newbern, director of the group, said "Tarak Underiner was both a personal friend of mine and a bright young man with a promising future ahead of him. His work as a member of Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus to restore the right to self-defense on Ohio's college campuses put him in an elite class obtained by very few others in our movement." The director also said in his statement that few facts are known and asked people not to speculate.
Tarak Underiner was from Cincinnati, and was a senior at OSU majoring in Marketing and Spanish. He graduated from Colerain High School in 2014, where he played several sports. He was also an Eagle Scout. OSU issued a statement in support of his family and friends, and offered their deepest condolences. His death is the first homicide in Columbus in 2017. OSU students are still on winter break and will not be back in classes until next week. No alerts were issued by OSU. OSU was also the location where hero Officer Alan Horujko shot a terrorist indiscriminately stabbing people during a terrorist attack in November.
The Columbus Police Department reiterated that this was not a random shooting and that the investigation is ongoing.
Our thoughts and prayers Tarak's family and friends in their loss.
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