When tragedy struck, Hawaii went to social media to document ... and then grieve

When tragedy struck, Hawaii went to social media to document ... and then grieve
Smoke poured over the waters just off Diamond Head on what would have been a quiet Sunday morning. (Source: Joanna Kettlewell)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A suspect’s violent rampage in a Diamond Head community has left the state reeling and thrown the police department into mourning.

And since the story first broke Sunday morning, many have documented the tragedy on social media ― first chronicling the shocking series of events and then grieving their loss.

Eyewitness to the rampage

Diamond Head Stephany Sofos went live on her Facebook page at 9:49 a.m. Sunday, as the rampage was still underway.

She later told Hawaii News Now that she wanted to document what she thought were her final moments.

“I felt that I could have died and I wanted my family and friends to know what was happening,” Sofos said.

Posted by Stephany Sofos on Sunday, January 19, 2020

An iconic neighborhood changed forever

With firefighters sidelined as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the active shooter situation, the raging fire that began in the minutes after officers were shot was soon burning out of control.

By the time the flames were put out, five homes were destroyed and several others had sustained significant damage.

Smoke poured over the waters just off Diamond Head on what would have been a quiet Sunday morning.
Smoke poured over the waters just off Diamond Head on what would have been a quiet Sunday morning. (Source: Joanna Kettlewell)

Images of an inferno

As the fires still burned, drone operator Erid Ceballos captured this now viral video of the intense flames spreading to other homes.

The suspect is accused of starting the fire in the home he was living in on Hibiscus Drive.


Homes leveled to the ground

A day later, with the fires out, Ceballos sent his drone up again.

His video puts the scope of the devastation on Hibiscus Drive into focus.

Residents began returning to their homes on Wednesday ― some picking through the rubble in hopes of salvaging their belongings, others figuring out how to begin repairs.

Diamond Head Tragedy

Drone video shows the devastation caused by a madman on Hibiscus Drive. Seven homes were destroyed in yesterday's fire, and several others were damaged. More importantly two beloved police officers, Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, lost their lives. And one woman remains missing. Police still have not found the suspect, Jerry Hanel, but he's believed to have died in the fire at his home. Courtesy: Erid Ceballos

Posted by Keahi Tucker on Monday, January 20, 2020

The fallen heroes

The suspect fatally shot the two officers in an ambush, as they responded to a stabbing.

Officer Tiffany Enriquez was killed first. Officer Kaulike Kalama was shot in a second group of responding officers.

The two have been described as heroes, and many have sought to pay their respects.

Among them: Philadelphia-based portrait artist Jonny Castro, who created portraits of the two for their families. In the pieces, Enriquez and Kalama are shown donning lei over their HPD uniforms.


Tributes from across America

Indeed, the tragedy has touched people across the United States.

Members of the New York Yankees sent their condolences via flowers and a special message to the Honolulu Police Department.

And a young boy in Florida ran two miles ― one for each of the fallen officers ― as part of an ongoing to bring greater attention to members of law enforcement killed in the line of duty.


A community in mourning

On Tuesday evening, scores of relatives, friends and perfect strangers gathered in Waikiki for a touching candlelight vigil to honor the fallen officers.

Enriquez’s boyfriend, who is also an HPD officer, recounted the last time he spoke to her.

“She knocked on the door and she was like, ‘Babe, I gotta go, the district is boiling up, they need me,'” Officer Jonathan Daniel Baba said.

“And then she said, ‘I love you.’ I said, ‘I love you. I’ll see you later, at the end of watch.”


Hawaii will never forget

Mayor Kirk Caldwell shared these photos on Instagram on Wednesday as government leaders and members of the Honolulu Police Department gathered at Honolulu Hale for a wreath-laying ceremony.

“May Officer Enriquez and Kalama never be forgotten, and may they rest in peace,” he wrote. “You protected us. We’ll protect your memory.”


A growing memorial

Meanwhile, a memorial for the officers at the Waikiki police substation continues to grow.

Many of those visiting the memorial have been using the hashtag #RestInPeace.

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