HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The woman who was stabbed in a violent rampage that also left her landlord and two police officers dead and her home and four others reduced to ashes says she is still struggling to comprehend the scope of a tragedy that’s forever altered her neighborhood.
Gisela Ricardi King was seriously injured in the attack.
Speaking publicly for the first time Monday, King said her heart aches for the two police officers who lost their lives and for her landlord, Lois Cain, who was the first to die.
She says Cain was like her mother.
“I cry so much and I cry so much when I still ... I close my eyes and I still feel her,” King said. “Unfortunately, I never imagine that will be the last time I see her.”
King said that last time was the night before Jan. 19, when everything changed.
She recalled hugging Cain in the upstairs hallway of their shared home on Hibiscus Drive.
And she said that night she dreamed of the man Cain allowed to live rent-free in the downstairs unit, Jerry “Yarda” Hanel.
She woke up sweating with an urge to find her landlord.
And she said she found Hanel in the laundry room, but he wouldn’t let her in.
“And I say is, 'Lois OK Yarda? and he tell me she just left and I hear, ‘ahhhhuhhh’ ― like a last gasp and I knew she was dead and I start to call 911,” King said.
She said Hanel saw her calling police and attacked her with a gardening tool.
“And he start to stab me and put me on the floor and I begged him, ‘Please Yarda, I have a son. I have a son.’ And he would not let me go.”
She said Hanel ignored her cries and continued to stab her. She curled into a ball to protect herself.
“I remember that he has his two hands on my head and smashed my head against the ground."
Neighbors heard her screaming, chased Hanel away, dragged King up the driveway and made a tourniquet for her leg. Bleeding from a dozen wounds, King felt she might pass out and told people to get her husband, David, and 7-year-old son Jack out of the house.
The police arrived. “And then I hear the shot," King said.
More shots rang out and with an active shooter situation, the ambulance couldn’t drive up the street..
Neighbors dragged King around the block.
Then as paramedics worked to stop her bleeding, Officer Kaulike Kalama was brought to that same ambulance with a fatal gunshot wound.
“The policeman died right at my foot. They tried to revive him,” she said. “I knew it was bad because they say ‘Stay with me.’ They say, ‘Stay with me. Stay with me.’”
Amid the chaos, King’s son was able to find safety at a neighbor’s house.
And King was taken to the Queen’s Medical Center, the same hospital where Kalama and Officer Tiffany Enriquez were pronounced dead.
“I hear all these officers coming to the ER and crying,” King said. “This was a tragedy for all of us.”
The tragedy didn’t end there, though.
Hanel is believed to have started a fire that spread quickly. By the time the flames were out, five homes were destroyed and several others sustained major damage.
King said she lost everything in the fire.
She was a babysitter and kept her savings ― $50,000 ― in a bedroom. It’s all gone.
And as she and her family works to move on, she hasn’t thought much of Hanel. Her mind is filled up with grief for the fallen officers and Cain.
“My son says, ‘How dare Yarda do that to us?’ I told him that he shouldn’t allow that. I mean the last thing we want is to fill our heart with hate. We don’t need that,” she said.
“I am surrounded by love and we will not make it alone without this community.”
Several GoFundMe accounts have been launched to help the King family and others.