Police Fatally Shoot Knife-Wielding Man At Port Columbus Airport
One person was shot and killed by police officers at Columbus International Airport.
The shooting occurred shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. According to Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Police Department, the suspect unsuccessfully tried to purchase an airline ticket with a fake ID. Authorities were alerted to the incident and followed the suspect out of the terminal.
UPDATE: Police have released the name of the man that was shot to death at Port Columbus. The man was identified as 41-year-old Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed.
The confrontation outside came after the officer called a tow truck for the man's vehicle, which he left illegally parked in the departures area. An officer approached the suspect and was conversing with him when suddenly the man lunged at the officer with a knife, prompting police to open fire. The wounded suspect dropped to the ground, but got back up and continued advancing towards the officer. A backup officer responded at which point the suspect quickly moved towards him with the knife, forcing the officer to retreat backwards towards the terminal entrance where a third officer was positioned. The third officer shot multiple times, striking the suspect, ending the attack.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Weiner adds additional knives were discovered on the suspect after officers searched his body. Suspicious items were also removed from his vehicle.
None of the three officers involved in the incident were harmed.
The confrontation and shooting all happened outside and most people in the terminal were unaware that anything had happened.
But witnesses who were outside say they clearly heard the shots fired. “We heard the gunshots. It had to be at least one or two gun shots that were consecutive,” recalled witness Bri’ana Jackson.
Jackson, who works at an outside kiosk at one of the car rental agencies, says at first she thought it was a car tire popping until she heard more gunfire. “Then we heard at least three more consecutive shots and that's when we knew something wasn't right. It is an airport so we kind of know that it is safe, but I never expected anyone to have to use their gun."
Port Columbus was briefly shut down following the shooting, but has since reopened to air traffic, while security remains on high alert.
Columbus Police Critical Incident Response Team, or CIRT, will handle the investigation of the deadly police involved shooting at the airport. CIRT will review any possible surveillance video and interview all witnesses, including the officer involved in the incident, to gather the facts of the case. Every police involved shooting investigation is presented to a Franklin County grand jury to determine whether a crime was committed. CIRT is handling the investigation because the city of Columbus and Port Columbus International Airport share a concurrent jurisdiction.
The suspect has not been identified thus far because next of kin have not been notified.
Sgt. Weiner says it too soon to determine if the incident was an act of terrorism.
Authorities are still investigating.