HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police have linked a home invasion Monday to a group of young men involved in a crime spree, police chase, and deadly officer-involved shooting.
About an hour prior to the shooting, which left a 16-year-old suspect dead, police say several suspects were involved in a home invasion near the intersection of Isenberg and Lime streets.
One of the victims, a 62-year-old man, had stopped by the house to return his friend’s barbecue grill.
Witnesses say he was standing in the driveway a little after 4 p.m. when he was approached by two young men asking for a dollar.
When he told them he didn’t have anything, one of the suspects allegedly revealed a gun that was stuck in his waistband and followed the victim inside the house.
Hung Thai, 48, says he was in the living room of the home with his wife watching television.
“My friend come inside and say robbery! Rob! Rob! Rob! Rob! I was confused,” he said.
By the time he could turn around, two suspects had already burst through his back door.
“(Wearing) a hooded sweater and masks. They point a gun at my friend and my wife,” Thai said. “They say, ‘Give me the money.’”
Wanting to shield his wife, Thai told HNN he stood up. That’s when he says one of the suspects pointed the gun at him.
“My friend throw the grill at them,” Thai said. “Then they retreat. They retreat.”
He says on their way out the door, the suspects grabbed a cell phone and a pair of keys.
“I see them get in a car over there. A white car,” he said, pointing to the street. “Two girls exercise. And then they hear us yelling. That’s why they take picture. Pictures of the license plate.”
Less than a hour later, HPD says the driver of that car led police on a chase that ended in a shooting at the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Phillip Street.
Thai says the officers at his home investigating the robbery filled him in on what happened.
On Tuesday, Thai told HNN he’s thankful that he, his wife and his friend are all safe.
And he had this message for the community.
“You don’t know who’s standing next to you,” said Thai. “Try to stick together. Help each other out. We can fight this crime right now.”