Police open fire on car in Kakaako, driver suffers gunshot wound to hip

Police open fire on car in Kakaako, driver suffers gunshot wound to hip
Anou Sithammalat
Anou Sithammalat
Maj. Clayton Kau
Maj. Clayton Kau

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KAKAAKO (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the second time in less than three weeks, a Honolulu police officer has fired multiple shots at a vehicle.

A quiet morning in Kakaako was shattered by the sounds of gunfire. An officer shot at a car near the intersection of Cooke Street and Kapiolani Boulevard at about 11:30 am.

Police then pursued the car and later found it abandoned in Palama.

Folks expecting another laid-back Sunday in Kakaako got anything but. Hair dressers at Salon Reve say they noticed something unusual when they arrived for work.

"There was a car sitting out here with the car running and the lights on and what not," said witness Anou Sithammalat. "I guess somebody was sleeping in there."

Police say an officer woke the man up, told him to turn off the engine, and asked him for his ID and paperwork. Investigators say the driver then re-started the car and took off, dragging an officer who had arrived as back-up.

"In the middle of them talking to him, he actually just took off, sped away in his car, and the officer started shooting at him from behind," Sithammalat said.

Police later located the bullet-ridden Honda Civic at North School St. and Lanakila Ave. They also found blood-stained clothing, so they notified hospitals to be on the lookout.

The staff at Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi reported that an injured man had checked himself in.

Sources identified him as Gerald Galon, 29, and say he suffered a gunshot wound to the hip. He was transferred to the Queen's Medical Center, where he's reported to be in good condition.

"It was kind of scary out there," Sithammalat said.

Investigators say the officer fired three rounds because he saw his partner being dragged by the car.

"The driver reaches forward, instead of pulling the keys from the ignition, starts the car up," said Maj. Clayton Kau of the Honolulu Police Department. "And the officer seeing this reaches into the car, tries to shut the car off and remove the keys."

Police say the officer who was leaning into the car suffered minor injuries to his right arm.

"The officer deemed it necessary to prevent the officer from being seriously hurt or even killed, at that point he deemed it necessary to use deadly force," Kau said.

The case is classified as an attempted murder of a police officer. Investigators are still trying to determine if the registered owner of the car gave Galon permission to use the vehicle.

On Nov. 3, a shooting at the KFC drive-thru in Waikele left an auto theft suspect wounded.