The first murder victim of the year in Columbus, Ohio was ironically an outspoken advocate of campus concealed carry, and according to the Columbus Dispatch, police do not believe he was a random victim, nor does the slaying have “any connection to the university.”
Twenty-year-old Tarak Andrew Underiner was reportedly shot several times in a house near the campus of Ohio State University. He died at the scene.
Ohio State was the scene of a would-be terror attack Nov. 28 in which several students were injured when a man drove a car into a crowd of people at the campus and then attacked them with a butcher knife. The perpetrator in that attack was fatally shot by a campus police officer who happened to be nearby.
Two days after that attack, during a hearing on legislation that would ease restrictions on concealed carry, Underiner testified in support. The Dispatch quoted him explaining, “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.”
In early December, he appeared in an interview with “The Scarlet Scoop” on the student-run Lantern TV. At the time he explained why he felt it important to be able to have the carry option, and added that he had been robbed in the past. That video may be viewed here.
Underiner was a member of Students for Concealed Carry and an Ohio State student. He was treasurer of Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus.
A source with the Columbus police told Liberty Park Press that police did seize “guns, drugs and cash from the home where Tarak was shot to death.” The amount of cash was not disclosed, and police could not say what type of firearm was used in Underiner’s slaying.
That was confirmed by the Dispatch in an update on the investigation Friday. Underiner reportedly had several firearms, and police have interviewed his roommates, who were in the house and heard the shots, but apparently did not witness the crime. The roommates have been ruled out as suspects.
The campus carry movement started on the day after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. There are active chapters across the country, and representatives from the group have appeared at the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference.
Underiner was a Cincinnati native.