HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A man shot by police in Makiki on Tuesday has died.
Police said they tried to avoid using lethal force, but were forced to open fire.
The shooting happened around 4:30 p.m. at a Hawaii Public Housing Authority apartment complex at 1212 Kinau St.
According to police, two officers shot and killed the 61-year-old man but only after first trying to diffuse the situation. Police said they used their firearms when he lunged at them with a long knife.
"I started hearing what sounded like gunshots and it sounded like at least four or more gunshots I heard," said Kim Linvald, resident of the complex.
"Immediately after the yelling, there were a number of shots, like five or six shots, like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," said witness Craig Hiyakumoto.
Police said officers initially responded to a suicidal man who lived in the apartment complex. Upon arrival, the man told officers he was OK, so officers left. They later got a phone call from the same man who said someone was trying to kill him.
"Officers responding to apartment where they found the door ajar. Officers entered the apartment and encountered a male armed with a long knife. The officers retreated out of the apartment while ordering the man to put the knife down," said Major Larry Lawson with HPD's Criminal Investigation Division.
Lawson said the man refused to put his weapon down and followed officers into the hallway. He said officers tried to use a less lethal force first, a pepper ball gun, but it malfunctioned.
"The male lunged towards the officers. The officers then fired at the male, striking him multiple times," Lawson said.
The man was rushed to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition where he later died.
Why the pepper ball gun didn't work is under investigation.
The two officers who fired their guns are assigned to District 1 patrol division where they have been in the department for 18 and five years respectively. They have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for this type of incident.