Police Kill Out-of-Control Car Thief

Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa
Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa
David Ritz
David Ritz

PEARLRIDGE (KHNL) --  "The officer is being dragged, the suspect almost hits a second officer, and goes on and hits a police vehicle," said Honolulu Police Chief Boisse Correa.

And what followed next at Pearlridge Center Wednesday left a stolen car suspect dead.

One of the shopping mall's busy parking lots turned into a crime scene. Honolulu police opened fire and fatally shot a 47-year-old man.

An auto theft turned deadly at Pearlridge Mall after a man, police say they caught breaking into a car, tried to escape.

"They confronted and tried to arrest the suspect at which time the suspect drove off, dragging one of the officers in his vehicle," said Correa.

Police say the man tried to run over another officer, then rammed the stolen car into a police vehicle.  He died after an officer fired five shots.  Employees at a restaurant right below the crime scene heard the gunfire.

"The people's vehicle that was broken into are customers of mine," said David Ritz, manager of Banditos restaurant.  "They were having lunch before they had to go back to Turtle Bay to get their luggage to get to the airport."

Investigators say this isn't their first run in with the man.

"The suspect is 47-years-old," said Correa. "He has 18 prior convictions, two of which are felony convictions for auto theft."

Two officers suffered minor injuries.  They were treated and released at the scene.

Police happen to be near this area at the time of the alleged car break in. Officers were doing surveillance work on home invasion robberies near the mall when they received a call about a stolen car.

Correa says the shooting appears to be justified and in compliance with department policy, which states: "Officers are authorized to use deadly force if there's a threat on the officer's or another individual's life."

In this case, police say, the suspect used his stolen car, as a deadly weapon.