Charges upgraded to attempted murder for man who allegedly shot at Lawrence police during standoff

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Abdul Jalil K. Hussein

When a Lawrence man came out of his house in body armor and allegedly fired a gun at a police officer last year, that wasn’t simply an assault on law enforcement, it was attempted murder, prosecutors now say.

Abdul Jalil K. Hussein, 35, was arrested and charged with a string of crimes after a June 29 break-in at his mother’s house that turned into a police standoff at his house, 620 N. Stowe Court.

On Friday, prosecutors upgraded a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer to attempted first-degree murder.

“These are the appropriate charges,” prosecutor Alice Walker said this week, after reviewing the case to prepare for a preliminary hearing.

So far, however, Hussein hasn’t been found mentally fit for his case to move forward in court.

In late July, Douglas County District Court Judge James McCabria found Hussein incompetent to stand trial and ordered him to Larned State Hospital for treatment over a period of months.

Citing Hussein’s mental illness and calling him a “health and safety risk,” his siblings asked to be appointed legal guardians of him and his estate, which the judge granted.

“Within the last 12 months, the proposed ward has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, had multiple confrontations with law enforcement, and in at least one instance met criteria for involuntary hospitalization,” Hussein’s brother wrote in a guardianship petition filed in November.

The petition also cited law enforcement reports on Hussein’s alleged crimes. In June, he destroyed the door of his mother’s house with an axe, “causing his mother to flee the home fearing for her life,” the petition said. The petition also quoted a police detective who said Hussein should be considered “an extremely violent threat to all others he meets.”

photo by: Ashley Hocking

Police respond to an incident on Stowe Court on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Hussein’s family had hired Olathe-based attorney David Langston to represent him in the criminal case, but Langston withdrew on Monday.

Langston said the volume of charges — now including the high-level felony of attempted first-degree murder — would be more work than his current caseload allowed. Langston also said Hussein didn’t seem to understand the severity of his case, noting that when told about the new charge, Hussein asked whether “time-served” would be a possible sentence. So far, he’s been in custody about seven months.

McCabria appointed Hussein a new lawyer, Hatem Chahine.

Hussein remains jailed on $700,000 bond.

He has three criminal cases pending. Documents from police and prosecutors allege:

• On June 29, 2018, Hussein broke down his mother’s door with an axe then searched the house for her, shooting out her TV with a gun while inside.

Police followed Hussein to his own house, where he battered Officer Charles Stewart before going inside. Hussein came back outside wearing body armor, brandished a gun, pointed it in the officer’s direction, and an “immediate exchange” of gunfire ensued. Neither man was hit, but Hussein’s bullets hit two occupied homes.

District Attorney Charles Branson has cleared the officer of criminal charges.

• On June 8, 2018, Hussein’s mother called police when he came to her home on North Crestline Drive and forced open the front door. He broke that door and a bathroom door in half.

His mother told police that Hussein was mad at her because she put paperwork on his door letting him know his next court date.

• On Dec. 12, 2017, Hussein was arrested after firing shots into the air outside his house and causing an hourslong standoff with police.

Afterward, Hussein was involuntarily committed to a state psychiatric hospital. The following March, he was charged with being a mentally ill person in possession of a gun and discharging a firearm in public.

According to court records, Hussein was out on $1,000 bond in that case when he committed the new crimes in June.

photo by: Nick Krug

A police vehicle blocks the road along Stowe Drive leading up to Stowe Court, where police were involved in a standoff, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.

Related story

July 18, 2018 — Affidavit: Violent rampage, shootout with police officer preceded arrest of mentally ill suspect in Lawrence standoff

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.