Update from Public Safety – Clarifying Misinformation Circulating

Dear Ohio State Community:

The following is an update on the tragic crime that occurred Sunday resulting in the shooting death of Ohio State student Chase Meola. We join everyone in our community in extending our deep condolences and support to his family and loved ones.

There are some rumors and misinformation that have been circulating by word of mouth and on social media regarding this matter. The information I am sharing today is what has been actually verified by the Columbus Division of Police, which is the investigative agency for this crime because it occurred in its jurisdiction. Columbus Police quickly apprehended a suspect and charged him with murder. To be clear, neither The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) nor Columbus Police has received any credible or substantiated reports of retaliatory gang activity in our student neighborhoods. Additionally, a video circulating on social media of a separate shooting was not recorded in the University District. This video is unrelated to Sunday's crime.

OSUPD continues to coordinate closely with Columbus Police, which is increasing patrols and adding special duty officers in the areas surrounding campus out of an abundance of caution. Columbus Police has continued to process the scene and the general vicinity for evidence, further accounting for the increased presence of law enforcement in the area. Previously, police were asking community members to stay inside so as not to disrupt the evidence-gathering process, which will soon be complete. Additionally, OSUPD officers are conducting high visibility patrols on campus. 

Anyone who might have photos, video, or who was actually present during this crime is urged to contact the lead investigator with Columbus Police. Detective Kathy Zimmer can be reached directly by calling 614-645-4192 or by emailing photos/videos to kzimmer@columbuspolice.org. Persons with questions about safety in the area should call 614-645-4545 to speak with an officer. Crime Stoppers is always an option for persons who do not wish to reveal their identity. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 614-461-8477. Using the Columbus Police App will also allow you to share photos and tips either anonymously or linked to your cell phone. Photos and videos and eyewitness accounts will be key in getting the facts needed to prosecute the person(s) responsible.

As President Johnson shared yesterday in her message, resources are available on the Ohio State Department of Public Safety website. These resources include Rave Guardian, which allows friends or family to be your virtual guardian and provides faster delivery of Buckeye Alerts and safety notices via push notifications, and Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State, which offers students discounted, late-night rides on and around Ohio State's campus.

You should also add the University Police non-emergency number to your phone and follow on Twitter at @OSUPolice and @OSU_EMFP. Always report suspicious behavior on campus to OSUPD at 614-292-2121 or off campus to Columbus Police at 614-645-4545. We also encourage students to sign their family members up to receive Buckeye Alerts. If you see something, say something. Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Students in need of support are encouraged to access counseling services by calling 614-292-5766. Students can also visit the Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) website and use the Buckeye Peer Access Line, which operates Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to midnight. CCS also provides guidance for ways for faculty and staff to support students. Faculty and staff who need support are encouraged to call the Employee Assistance Program at 800-678-6265.

Monica Moll
Director, Department of Public Safety
The Ohio State University