By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
WAIMALU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man waving a gun at the Waimalu Shopping Center was shot and killed by a Honolulu police officer Tuesday afternoon.
The shooting happened shortly before 3:30 p.m. As night fell police were still piecing together the events that led to the shooting. People who were at the shopping center when the commotion began told Hawaii News Now the man had stolen, or tried to steal, something from the Pukana La Massage studio on the second floor of the shopping center. They said the man pulled a gun on a woman in the studio then fled on foot with the woman in pursuit. Within seconds a man who was eating lunch in the parking lot joined the chase.
"A lady came to me, told me that, if you stop that dude I'll give you 100 bucks. So, I figured, you know what I mean, I'm going to stop that guy and get my $100 dollars," said Hieu Bui, a 22 year old man from Waipahu.
Bui said he did not know the alleged thief was armed. Then he saw the gun and alerted a police officer who was working special duty directing traffic at a nearby construction site.
"The officer chased the male to the back of the shopping center where the suspect waved the gun and pointed it at the officer. The officer repeatedly ordered the male to put the gun down, but the suspect refused. The officer fired multiple times, striking the suspect," said Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha during a press conference at police headquarters.
Witnesses say they heard at least two shots from the officer's gun. At least one hit the suspect. One of the spent bullets came to rest in the driveway of a nearby house.
Paramedics worked to save the man. He was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced died.
"He got what he deserved. I mean that was so brazen in the middle of the day to come and rob somebody and then to show the gun. I mean I know that sounds terrible, but that's his repercussion of what he did," said Susan Scott, who runs a noodle shop at the shopping center.
Police say the officer involved is a 19 year veteran of the force. He has been put on administrative leave while HPD's internal affairs division investigates the incident. That is standard procedure.
The suspect, believed to be in his 30's, has not yet been identified.