[Circleville, Ohio | September 14, 2022] Shortly before 6:00 a.m. this morning, an unknown gunman arrived on the campus of Ohio Christian University. Thankfully, the situation was contained quickly by law enforcement and was diffused with no injuries or loss of life. The administration, staff, faculty and students of Ohio Christian University are extremely grateful for the experienced and capable leadership and coordination of the Pickaway County Sherriff’s Department, Circleville City Police, State Highway Patrol, Circleville Fire Department, OCU Campus Security, and OCU Chief of Security, for their successful response in ending the event peacefully and are particularly thankful to God for his protection and, again, that there was no loss of life.
Ron Smith, PhD, Interim President of Ohio Christian University, asked that the Pickaway County Sheriff's Department Press Release concerning the incident be shared with our OCU community. It reads:
[Circleville, OH] Sheriff Matthew O. Hafey and Chief Shawn Baer are reporting that on September 14, 2022 at 5:51 a.m. the Circleville Communications Center received a call of a vehicle that crashed into the Ministry and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Ohio Christian University.
Officers from the Circleville Police Department arrived on scene around 5:58 a.m. and Deputies from the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office arrived minutes later. Officers located a male subject around a firepit on campus with a gun to his head.
Ohio Christian University was put on a lock down and Circleville City Schools were put on a delay, to ensure the safety of students and staff.
After approximately two hours of negotiations, the male subject was taken into custody without incident. During the negations a perimeter was set up to ensure the safety of the students on campus.
The male subject was identified as Vale L. Raburn, a 24-year-old male from Lancaster, Ohio.
Detectives from both agencies were on scene to assist in processing the scene. In doing so, they learned that Raburn fired a round from his handgun into the Ministry and Performing Arts Center front doors. Raburn reached through the broken glass, unlocked the doors and entered the unoccupied building. Officers entered the front of the building looking for him, as they did so, he exited the backdoor of the building.
The Circleville Police Department transported Raburn to the Pickaway County Jail. The Circleville Police Department charged Raburn with Inducing Panic (a Felony of the Second Degree), Improper Handling of a Firearm While in a Motor Vehicle (a Felony of the Fourth Degree), Disruption of Public Services (a Felony of Fourth Degree), and Vandalism (a Felony of the Fifth Degree).
Raburn will be arraigned in the Circleville Municipal Court on September 15, 2022.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Christian University Security and Circleville EMS assisted on the scene as well.
Sheriff Hafey and Chief Baer would like thank their staff for their quick response and resolving this incident peacefully. We would also like to thank Ohio Christian University and Circleville City Schools for their understanding and cooperation in this matter. This case remains under investigation by the Circleville Police Department with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office assisting them.
Dr. Smith said this concerning the event, "My heart is full of respect for our employees who leaned into this incident and brought such excellence to the table. I want to thank our board for prayers and recommendations you shared in order to help serve our OCU community. I want to thank faculty, staff, and students for outstanding service during this time. I cannot overstate my gratitude for all of our first responders who placed themselves in harm’s way for all of us and resolved this emergency with no loss of life. And so we also give overwhelming gratitude for God’s protection. We pray for the soul of this young man that he may know the saving grace of God."