KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police on Tuesday opened fire on a suspected car thief who ran into a crowded workplace in Kalihi armed with a gun.
Michael Davis, 50, who already has 32 convictions on his record, suffered a gunshot wound to his head and was being treated at the Queen's Medical Center.
Investigators recovered his weapon, which they described as an "improvised firearm," either an altered gun or one built from scratch.
The sounds of gunfire pierced a normally quiet business district in Kalihi. The wounded was brought out on a gurney.
"Pop, pop, pop. Three times," Mona Harrell, Jams World employee, said. "As soon as I heard the shots, I was out of there."
It all started when security guard Tony Roberts says he saw a man trying to steal a car from a parking lot and confronted him. The next thing he knew, he says the suspect had a gun pointed at him and was chasing him around.
"He said, 'Get the f*** out of my face. I'm going to shoot your a**,'" Roberts said. "That's exactly what he said."
Roberts called police and ran into a building.
The gunman, identified by sources as Michael Davis, then darted across the street and into the Jams World factory, as Pepsi delivery driver Karl Flores watched from his truck.
"I saw this big, big man running with something in his hand," Flores said. "The guy never looked kind of right with the way he was bookin'."
Flores got out of his truck and directed officers to the warehouse.
"I said the guy is right inside the steps," Flores said. "He never come down. You guys gotta watch out."
Terrifying moments followed for Jams World employees.
"We heard the shot," Fe Callejo, Jams World employee, said. "We went into one of the rooms and locked ourselves in there."
"We all dive to the ground," Flores said. "It was a tense moment."
Police say Davis fired first.
"The suspect emerged and fired at one of the officers with an improvised firearm. The officer returned fire striking the suspect once," Chief Louis Kealoha, Honolulu Police Department, said. "We are thankful that no one else in this incident was injured."
Kealoha says the suspect's prior convictions include terroristic threatening, kidnapping, robbery and auto theft.
"Wow, talking about putting police officers in line, now I know we should praise them more often," Flores said.
The officer who fired the shot is a 15-year police veteran assigned to the Kalihi Crime Reduction Unit. He has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Brooks Baehr contributed to this report.