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Man killed at Ohio airport by police had history of mental illness

Man killed by police at Ohio airport had history of mental illness, faced an attempted murder charge in 1999

The man who was shot and killed by police officers after an attempted knife attack at an Ohio airport on Wednesday had a history of mental illness and faced an attempted murder charge in 1999, according to court records.

Columbus police identified the man as Cleveland resident Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed, 41.

Abdul-Rasheed was shot Wednesday afternoon moments after he tried to buy a plane ticket with a woman's identification at the Port Columbus International Airport, police said. The airline refused to make the sale and notified airport police, who confronted him as he walked toward a "suspicious vehicle."

When officers approached him, Abdul-Rasheed lunged with a knife. He was shot once and fell to the ground, but police said he quickly stood up again and continued to advance with the blade forward, causing another officer to open fire a second time.

Abdul-Rasheed died a short time later. Police recovered multiple knives when they searched him, and the Columbus Police Department's bomb squad was called in to search his car.

On Wednesday, Columbus Police Department spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner said officers found other items in the car that caused concern, but declined to elaborate. Police union official Jason Pappas confirmed reports that the suspicious materials included containers of frozen urine.

Abdul-Rasheed “was probably living out of his car for the last several days, weeks, and … my guess is he was using the restroom in his car. I don’t believe there was any significance to the urine,” Pappas said. “We are in a deep freeze right now, so everything is frozen no matter what liquid it is.”

According to Cuyahoga County court records, Abdul-Rasheed was charged with attempted murder with a firearm, aggravated robbery and several other offenses in Cleveland in 1999.

He was found to be suffering from mental illness at trial, according to court records, and was held at the Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare Center for more than two years. He was granted a supervised release in 2001, but remained under court-ordered counseling until he was granted a full release in 2012.

Abdul-Rasheed was also arrested and indicted on an assault charge in 1995.

Investigators have not said where Abdul-Rasheed was attempting to fly to or whose identification he used to try to buy the plane ticket.

Times staff writer Lauren Raab contributed to this report.

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3:16 p.m.: This article was updated with comments by police union official Jason Pappas.

The first version of this article was published at 2:22 p.m.