Suspect wounded, deputy injured in freeway offramp struggle

The stolen car where it finally stopped on the Kunia offramp
The stolen car where it finally stopped on the Kunia offramp
Hawaii State Sheriff Charles Lacaden briefs the media at the scene
Hawaii State Sheriff Charles Lacaden briefs the media at the scene

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

KUNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A suspect in a stolen car was wounded Saturday morning when a gun went off during a struggle with a deputy sheriff.

The incident began shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday in what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop by a deputy with the airport detail at Honolulu International Airport.

"A deputy sheriff attempted to pull over a vehicle at Waiwai Loop and Lagoon Drive," said Hawaii State Sheriff Charles Lacaden. "Subsequently, we found out that the vehicle was stolen. The deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over and a chase ensued."

The chase ended about ten minutes later on the westbound Kunia offramp of the H-1 Freeway. Two men, described as local males, were in the vehicle, a dark green Honda.

"A struggle ensued," said Lacaden. "As the deputy tried to make the arrest, shots were fired."

Video taken from the City & County's traffic management center showed the first few minutes after the shooting. One of the suspects was seen handcuffed on the pavement, while deputies checked on the wounded suspect, who was behind a guardrail. Emergency crews took the man to the Queen's Medical Center, where he was last reported in stable condition.

Investigators said it was unknown whether the deputy actually fired the weapon, or if it went off during the struggle. "We don't know all of that," Lacaden said. "I can tell you that there was a discharge of the weapon. Absolutely."

The deputy was not shot, but was slightly injured in the struggle. He was taken by ambulance for treatment.

"There were some injuries," said Lacaden. "I don't want to speculate where its at until we know for sure how much injuries, and specifically where those injuries are. I can tell you there are some injuries."

The owner of the car, who declined to be identified, said the vehicle was stolen a few nights ago.

Investigators kept the offramp closed for several hours, looking for evidence in the adjacent grassy area.

"Apparently, the struggle may have ensued there," Lacaden said. "And so we're making sure that we check everything, all scenes, everything that was involved."

Authorities have not identified the two suspects, and did not release the name of the deputy, who was said to be a ten year veteran of the Sheriff's Division. He has been placed on 72-hour administrative leave, which Lacaden said is routine procedure.

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