HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The family of a slain Honolulu police officer who treasured their privacy opened up Tuesday night as a large crowd joined them in mourning.
They came together to remember Kaulike Kalama at the beach he loved – Sandy Beach.
Loved ones and strangers gathered to mourn his death and bond over the horrific tragedy.
There were tears and laughter as hundreds shared memories of Kalama and honored the legacy he left behind.
Kalama, also known as “KK,” was fatally shot when he rushed to help fellow officer Tiffany Enriquez who had been gunned down at Diamond Head last Sunday.
“KK had the composer and presence of mind to reassure another officer who was there. He didn’t really know that other officer, he didn’t know him too well. They worked in different districts. But officer Kaulike Kalama told him, ‘Don’t worry bro, I got your back,’” said Grant Pagarigan, Kalama’s academy classmate.
“On that Sunday morning when the call came in for help for his fellow officers, KK went. He never wavered, he never hesitated, he went – and that’s what heroes do,” said Kalama’s Sergeant John Martin.
Kalama was 34 years old and a nine-year veteran of the force.
He leaves behind a wife, a teenage son and a legacy of community service.
“He was a lover, for sure. Big heart, unconditional love, and he loved taking care of everybody,” said his brother Keawe.
“Being a law enforcement officer too in Arizona, it’s kind of tough listening to our last name on the news,” said Kalama’s cousin Keola. “Just hearing the stories, it’s so sad. But putting on my uniform will be even more special now because every time I see my name tag ‘K. Kalama,’ I think of him.”