When Adam Marcum, a 2007 Fairfield High School graduate, saw a picture of his classmate and friend on social media Monday afternoon, he immediately thought the worst.
“My heart sank,” Marcum, 28, said Tuesday.
That’s because his friend, Alan Horujko, is a police officer on the Ohio State University campus.
“When you see a picture of an officer, it’s never a good thing,” Marcum said.
Then Marcum read the accompanying story and realized Horujko was being hailed as a hero after firing the shot that killed a man who drove his car into a group of pedestrians on OSU’s campus Monday morning before stabbing at the victims with a knife. Eleven people were transported to nearby hospitals with only one person in critical condition.
Marcum, a Miami University graduate, works at The Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton. He met Horujko when the two played in the Fairfield High marching band. They have remained friends, mostly communicating on social media.
He wasn’t surprised that Horujko, 28, engaged the suspect, now being identified as 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan, shot and killed him.
“He’s always been a stand-up guy,” Marcum said. “He does the right thing. Has good values.”
Fairfield City Councilman Bill Woeste, a friend of the family, met Horujko when he was a Cub Scout at Sacred Heart. He described Horujko as an exceptional student who came from a religious family that valued community involvement and academics.
Woeste said two of his sons graduated from OSU so he knows the area on campus where the incident occurred. After reading the accounts, Woeste believed Horujko “responded exactly like he should.”
Woeste talked to Horujko’s mother on Monday and said she was trying to deal with the events of the day. The family has refused to comment publicly until the investigation is complete.
“It’s a very traumatic time,” Woeste said. “I don’t think we ever think something like this would happen.”
Horujko was working on campus at Ohio State when the attack took place and was able to respond quickly because he had just been called near the scene to attend to a fire alarm, according to officials
The director of public safety at Ohio State, Monica Moll, said at a press conference that the car drove into the crowd of people at 9:52 a.m., according to a tweet from Ohio State A&P.
Horujko reported that there was a man with a knife a few seconds later and then called out “shots fired” and reported one person down at 9:53 a.m.
Jill Wilhelm, Fairfield High School band director, had Horujko as a clarinet player in the marching band.
“He comes from a wonderful family, and they instilled in him some great values,” Wilhelm said. “He was fun-loving in high school and very out-going.”
Horujko studied engineering at Ohio State for three years, but didn’t feel as passionately about engineering as his classmates did, according to a 2015 Lantern story. He began working with Student Safety Services and graduated with a degree in security and intelligence in 2012.
“I just couldn’t see myself sitting in a cubicle,” Horujko told the Lantern at the time.
He joined the Ohio State University police force in January of 2015. Friends remember that Horujko has said his career aspirations are to work for national intelligence agencies.
Staff Writer Michael Pitman contributed to this report.