Investigation continues after officers fatally shoot man armed with machete in Kalihi

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:38 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An investigation is underway after a man wielding a machete was shot and killed by Honolulu police.

It happened around 2:45 a.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Kapalama Gardens Condo in Kalihi. That’s where police officers alongside Emergency Medical Services responded to a 911 call to help a man whose finger had been chopped off in an attack. The situation intensified when the suspect returned to the scene still armed.

A woman who didn’t want to be identified told Hawaii News Now she was the girlfriend of the man whose finger was severed. She says they were there to pick up a vacuum and described being caught in the middle of the chaos.

“I don’t know where the guy came from,” she said. “Just came out from nowhere and ended up chopping up my boyfriend’s hand.”

First responders had been on scene about 10 minutes when the suspect returned.

The woman said, “We saw the guy come up from the dumpster area and we pointed to him, the guy. And the cops tried to go and get him. And told him to put his weapon down. He didn’t put his weapon down.”

Acting HPD police chief Rade Vanic said officers approached the suspect and repeatedly asked him to put down the machete.

“The suspect ignored the officers and walked to a parked car and opened the driver’s side door,” he said. “Officers again ordered the suspect to drop the machete but he did not. "

Vanic says the suspect then charged toward the officer who was standing the closest. He added, the entire incident lasted less than 30 seconds.

“As the officer was attempting to distance himself from the suspect, the suspect raised the machete over his head and rushed towards the officer,” he said. “Two officers fired at the suspect multiple times and the suspect fell to the ground. He was treated and transported to the hospital in critical condition, where he died.”

The suspect was 41 years old and had a minor criminal record. His name has not officially been released.

“Our officers are fine,” Vanic said. “There was an officer who fell down during the incident but it’s my understanding he’s physically ok.”

The acting chief says the shooting was captured on at least one of the officer’s body worn cameras and a nearby surveillance camera.

Those videos were not released.

Now, investigators are still trying to piece together what prompted the initial attack. Police confirm it happened outside a game room but say it’s unclear if the two are connected.

The girlfriend of the victim told HNN they didn’t know the suspect — that they’d only seen him around.

“It’s not like we’re personally friends,” she said. “You see a lot of people you know. And he lives in this area so it’s not like we’re acquaintance.”

This is the third deadly officer-involved shooting on Oahu since April.

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