Makapuu Police Shootout Finally Reaches End - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Makapuu Police Shootout Finally Reaches End

Peter Moses Peter Moses
Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader
Bullet holes in the door of an HPD cruiser near Makapuu lighthouse on September 11. 1998 Bullet holes in the door of an HPD cruiser near Makapuu lighthouse on September 11. 1998

By Minna Sugimoto

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Three Honolulu police officers involved in a shootout in East Oahu nearly nine years ago are feeling a sense of closure. After a long wait, the man they battled with is finally sentenced.

It's a case that took several twists and turns before reaching its conclusion Monday. Last December, a month before his re-trial, Peter Moses abruptly ended his lengthy court fight and pleaded guilty to several charges.

With his hair dangling past his shoulders and shackles on his legs, Peter Moses looks to his family as he enters the courtroom.

In 1998, he got into a violent confrontation with three officers at Makapuu. Police were trying to arrest him for breaking into a car, when he grabbed an officer's gun.

"He takes it, puts his finger on the trigger, points it at Officer Earl Haskell, pulls the trigger, and puts a bullet in his gut," Rom Trader, deputy prosecutor, said.

In 1999, a jury found Moses guilty of multiple offenses, including attempted murder of a police officer. But an appeals court overturned that conviction. It was a blow to the officers involved.

"The prospect of going back to a second trial in this case was just a very, very, very difficult thing for each and every one of them," Trader said.

Shortly before his re-trial, Moses gave up his court fight. Nearly nine years after the shootout, he apologizes.

"To the three officers, sorry," he said.

At sentencing, a victim has an opportunity to tell the judge how the incident affected his or her life. In this case, none of the three officers submitted anything in writing to the court, nor did they appear in person to testify. Prosecutors say the experience was too painful for them, and they simply want to move on.

"They appreciate the fact that he stepped up, took responsibility for his criminal conduct 'cause that really doesn't happen as near as often as it should," Trader said.

Moses himself took 17 bullets to his body during the shootout. The judge sentenced him to life in prison with the chance of parole.

Powered by Frankly