Active shooter reported at Ohio State University

(Phoebe Potiker / Twitter)
(Phoebe Potiker / Twitter)

The suspect shot dead during an attack on a US university has been identified as a student of the school.

Nine people were injured during the attack on Ohio State University on Monday morning (local time).

Ohio State University initially reported the situation as an active shooter on campus, sending both the college and areas nearby into lockdown. The scene was secured around an hour-and-a-half later.

Officials say the attacker ploughed a car into a crowd, before getting out and slashing people with a butcher knife. Reports of shots being heard are thought to have been from the police response to the incident.

The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a permanent US resident.

Police say he was shot less than two minutes after the attack began, when he failed to comply with orders to put down the knife.

The motive behind the attack is still being investigated.

"Our top priority remains the safety and security of our campus community," the university has said in a statement.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured and their families."

Of those attacked, one is critical, but none of the injuries are being considered life-threatening.

The lockdown has been lifted but a number of buildings in the area remain closed, and classes on campus have been cancelled for the rest of the day.

The university's emergency alert system tweeted out a warning for people to "Run Hide Fight (sic)" at around 9:56am on Monday (local time) - a protocol meaning evacuate if possible, hide if not, or fight as a last resort.

Police shot dead one suspect but the lockdown continued for another hour amid concerns there were others involved in the incident.

There are reports two men have been led away in handcuffs but it's not yet known if they were involved in the attack.

More than a dozen ambulances are at the scene and around 30 fire trucks, as well as FBI officials assisting police.

Nineteen-year-old student Wyatt Crosher told NBC News he heard what he thought was gunfire coming from a building.

"My roommate and I heard about three or four gunshots from across the street, and soon after we heard a bunch of police and ambulances pull up across the street," he said.

A student who only identified himself as Mike told CBS News he was shaken by the incident.

"You never think something like this is going to happen. This is mind-blowing and the worst thing you can think of happening to a school, especially after a big weekend and Thanksgiving," he said.

Around 60,000 people attend the university at its main Columbus campus.