Police have shot and killed a man who allegedly attacked patrons of a Columbus, Ohio, restaurant Thursday night, wounding several people. One of the victims is in critical condition, according to reports.
The suspected attacker is a Somali national named Mohammad Barry, CBS reports. There are also reports that Barry was on a terrorist watchlist.
“Law enforcement is concerned that this incident has the hallmarks of the type of so-called “lone wolf” terrorist attack that they have been working to stop,” the report reads.
The suspect entered the restaurant earlier in the day and asked for the owner. He was then told the owner was not at the restaurant, and he left the building, WBNS-10TV reports.
Thirty minutes later, allegedly armed with a machete, the now-deceased suspect entered the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli at 6:30PM local time, witnesses say.
The owner of the restaurant is an Israeli Christian who formerly lived in Nazareth, Israel, according to reports.
“He came in and started beating up on another man, I thought it was a personal thing. Then he just started down the row hitting everybody; people were bleeding,” a witness told a local ABC affiliate.
A waitress said of the events as they unfolded:
He looked straight at me but he went over to the booths and just started going down the booths. It all seemed to happen in slow motion.
Karan Bass, who was in the restaurant at the time of the assault, said:
He came to each table and just started hitting them. There were tables and chairs overturned there was a man on the floor bleeding, there was blood on the floor… I fell like five times. My legs felt like jelly. I just thought he was going to come behind me and slash me up.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now assisting with the investigation, police spokesperson Todd Lindgren revealed. The FBI is well-known as the nation’s preeminent domestic counterterrorism agency.
Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said there did not seem to be any “rhyme or reason” for the attack. He did not reveal the name of the suspect and did not explain why the FBI had gotten involved in the investigation.
Micki Zakas, one of the employees of the restaurant, had nothing but good things to say about the owner of the dining establishment.
“Everybody leaves here with a smile,” she told a local NBC affiliate. “It’s a real happy place, he [the owner] has been in business for 26 years, so he’s got a great reputation around here. The restaurant’s got a great reputation.”