HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Schofield Barracks soldier killed by Honolulu Police officers yesterday has been identified as Gregory Gordon, 22. The medical examiner says he bled to death after being shot in the chest area.
Honolulu Police did search the pickup truck and found a replica handgun inside. They did not find any drugs or alcohol containers in the truck.
The medical examiner says Gordon's blood alcohol level was .196, nearly two and a half times the legal limit to drive.
Video taken during the incident shows the pickup truck driver is not stopping repeatedly rams into police cars. This was after police officers said he was driving the wrong way down a one way street, drove on the sidewalk to elude officers, knocked down a pole and injured three officers. He was shot at two separate times and had plenty of opportunities to stop. The Honolulu Police Department maintains officers were justified in firing at the truck and acted properly to minimize the danger to the public.
"It was very shocking because I personally knowing the young man I don't think if he was in the right state of mind he would have done anything in that nature," said Sonja Swain, a family friend and Ashford Police Department Dispatcher.
Gordon is from Ashford, Alabama, a town of about 2,000 people. He was an soldier with the 25th Infantry Division based at Schofield Barracks in Wahiawa. He was a combat veteran having been deployed to Afghanistan for a nine month tour from April 2011 to January 2012.
Folks who knew him theorize it could have been post traumatic stress from Afghanistan that played a factor during the fatal incident. Swain said he didn't have a criminal record.
"I don't think he would have changed that dramatically unless it had to do with him being in Afghanistan," said Swain.
"He was one of the sweetest people I've ever known. His whole family is. They would do anything for anybody in need," said Brooke Childree, who has known Gordon since elementary school and lived down the street from the Gordon family. "It's almost unbelievable. There has to be some other reason for this. There has to be some kind of, whether he was drugged, or maybe the PTSD. It's just not him. It's not something he would do. He loved everybody. He was not a mean or violent person."
"The ones I've talked to have been sad and in disbelief. You know, news travels with technology and Facebook this day and age pretty fast," said Jarod Andrews, Ashford High School Assistant Principal, where Gordon graduated from in 2009. "You know Greg was a young man that didn't participate in sports, he was always willing to help, and he was a hard working kid. Everyone on campus knew him and would talk with him. Anytime you needed something he would help you out."
Gordon was described as a typical boy with four brothers. He did post pictures with beer on his Facebook page. He also featured pictures with his young son. Friends say he had plenty of reasons to come home.
"It's very heartbreaking. I can just imagine what it's going to be like him growing up without a daddy," said Swain.
Police also confirmed there were no mechanical problems with the truck that would have made it accelerate or lose control.
The Medical Examiner's office says drug tests are pending. It could take up to six weeks to determine if any drugs were in his system in addition to the alcohol.