Authorities declined to reveal the man's name but said he was armed with several knives.
The confrontation with two Port Columbus International Airport officers took place about 12:45 p.m., Columbus police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner said.
The man had tried to buy a plane ticket with a woman's identification shortly before the shooting, Weiner told reporters. After the airline rebuffed him, he tried to buy a ticket with another form of identification, but the airline also refused to make that sale.
Airport police were notified. They approached the man as he walked toward a "suspicious vehicle" that had been parked illegally for roughly 10 minutes, Weiner said.
During "the initial confrontation between the officer and this man, there was nothing that led the officers to believe at the beginning that this was going to be a consensual conversation," he said.
Police searched the man after he was shot and found several other knives and items that "alarmed" them, Weiner said.