HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tuesday marks one year since the tragedy at Diamond Head, in which two Honolulu police officers were fatally shot in an event that sent ripples of heartache throughout Hawaii.
One year later, healing is a slow process on Hibiscus Drive — but it’s happening.
The two officers, Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, died that day along with two area residents. It was all a result of one man’s unhinged rampage.
Since that day of great sorrow, much has changed in the tight-knit community. Some people saw things that morning that forever changed their lives.
By the time Stephany Sofos started live streaming the events as they unfolded, her neighbor Jarda “Jerry” Hanel had already killed his landlord Lois Cain, repeatedly stabbed his housemate Gisela Ricardi-King and fatally shot the two officers.
For Sofos, her day started with an early walk with the dogs. Soon after, she found herself hiding behind a wall with a neighbor for safety as gunshots were being fired and flames raged.
“When you have kind of a mission to do something, you really focus,” she said, remembering her will to survive. Besides recording the terror, Sofos was tasked with safeguarding her neighbor’s children who had jumped out of a window and ran from the scene.
″She said don’t leave them and I wasn’t going to leave them. And I’m glad I did that to this day. For the rest of my life, that’s one moment I’m proud of that I stayed with those kids,” Sofos added.
Around that time, Iraq war veteran Ian Felix, who was visiting his mom in the area, heard the screaming and ran to help.
He helped pull Ricardi-King to safety and made a tourniquet. “I could see blood coming out from her leg,” Felix remembered.
He remembers a moment with officer Enriquez before she headed down Hanel’s driveway.
“It’s really hard because I was not even two feet away, face to face with her, asking her about the tourniquet,” Felix said. Shortly after, Enriquez was shot dead.
Following the shootout, a fire ignited and flames burned several homes.
“My whole life basically changed in that hour and 43 minutes. The physical scars in this neighborhood are still fresh, and so are the emotional scars.”
“Everyday, I think about the two police officers and Lois and even Yarda, and how tragic that was for all those families,” Sofos added.
“What happened to the people who lost their houses, especially the two officers who lost there lives, It’s hard to move on,” Felix said.
Residents say it’s a lesson to love each other and to care enough to speak up, especially when there are signs of mental illness.