Owner of stolen SUV involved in police shooting speaks out - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Owner of stolen SUV involved in police shooting speaks out

Charles Skarphol Charles Skarphol
Val Aipperspach Val Aipperspach
Maj. Dave Kajihiro, HPD Maj. Dave Kajihiro, HPD
Police say this 25-year-old man was the back seat passenger in the suspect vehicle Police say this 25-year-old man was the back seat passenger in the suspect vehicle
Roy Ichinose Roy Ichinose

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIKELE (HawaiiNewsNow) - There were tense moments for the lunchtime crowd at a busy fast-food restaurant in Waikele Tuesday, as police opened fire on a stolen vehicle right outside. The driver suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

It happened in the drive-thru at the KFC in Waikele at about 12:30 pm. The stolen Dodge Durango was second in line when police spotted it and swarmed in.

Charles Skarphol was sitting in his parked car eating lunch near the drive-thru when gunshots rang out.

"There was some pop, pop, pop, and then the vehicle lunged forward again and hit the van again," the visitor from Minnesota said. "And then there was another round of shots fired."

Police had cornered the stolen Dodge Durango in the drive-thru lane. Witnesses say the 23-year-old man behind the wheel tried to get out of the tight spot, hitting two cars and an unmarked police van.

"I see the Durango back up, hit something behind it and then he drove forward, and then I guess he backed up again," Val Aipperspach, witness, said. "And then the cops were pointing guns at him, you know, stop."

Investigators say when the SUV moved toward officers, police fired several shots, hitting the driver twice in the torso and once in the arm.

The back-seat passenger, a 25-year-old man, was treated for minor injuries at the scene and taken to the Pearl City police station for booking.

"We actually had a customer at the drive-thru. You can see her vehicle there," Maj. Dave Kajihiro, Honolulu Police Department, said. "So she's a witness for us and, thank God, nobody else was hurt."

A 25-year-old woman, who was in the front passenger seat, was also arrested. She was not hurt.

Two plainclothes officers went to the Queen's Medical Center with minor injuries. One was hit by the SUV. The other tweaked his back.

Roy Ichinose of Pearl City is the owner of the Durango.

"We hoped, you know, it was going down calmly and quietly," the auto theft victim said.

He says his SUV was taken from another neighborhood a couple of nights ago, and mysteriously appeared in front of his house Tuesday morning.

"We kind of cleaned up little bit because had some trash in there and, apparently, they had punched the door lock," he said.

A short time later, it was stolen...again.

"My son was home and he calls me up again and says, 'Guess what? They took the car again,'" Ichinose said.

His son called police. About 15 minutes later, the ordeal ended in Waikele.

"We're just glad that it's over," Ichinose said.

Sources identify the driver of the stolen SUV as Jeremiah Lopez, a man known to police. He's reported to be in serious condition.

Police say they will arrest him on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer, criminal property damage and auto theft upon his release from the hospital.

Bottom photo source: T. James C. Le

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