Advertisement

Officers were justified in shooting suspect who ran at them with knife, prosecutor says

The city Prosecutor’s Office said two Honolulu police officers were justified last week in shooting a 48-year-old man accused of running at them with a knife.
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 3:17 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2022 at 4:23 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city Prosecutor’s Office said two Honolulu police officers were justified last week in shooting a 48-year-old man accused of running at them with a knife.

At a news conference Monday, city Prosecutor Steve Alm released police body cam and surveillance video of the shooting that shows officers trying to get suspect Ricky L. Kaleopaa to drop the knife. Officers ordered him to drop it at least 25 times before he runs toward them, the video shows.

“He just charges them, really quickly. At that point, he was maybe 10 feet away,” Alm said. “They had no choice but to shoot. The officers in this case did everything right.”

Kaleopaa was critically injured in the shooting and remains hospitalized.

He’s been charged with first-degree attempted assault against a law enforcement officer, second-degree attempted assault, and one count of first-degree terroristic threatening.

The city Prosecutor’s Office said two Honolulu police officers were justified last week in shooting a 48-year-old man accused of running at them with a knife.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The shooting happened on Jan. 24 about 10:40 p.m. on the mauka side of Ala Moana Center near the corner of Kona and Kona Iki streets.

The video shows officers trying to calm Kaleopaa down and get him to “talk story” with them.

“I would call this a textbook approach. The officers’ frame of mind, their behavior ― it’s exceptional. It’s what it should be all the time,” said Alm.

“They didn’t lose their temper, they weren’t frustrated, they dealt with the situation as it existed.”

Alm said police tried to use a Taser but couldn’t get a clear shot because Kaleopaa was wearing bags on his back and his front. They also were trying to get out a bean bag shotgun, but officials said things got out of control before they could get it out of the trunk of a squad car.

Video footage of the shooting matches the account released by the police department last week.

In a news conference following the shooting, interim Police Chief Rade Vanic said officers “repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife but the suspect refused.”

He added, “The suspect then ran towards the officers with a knife raised in the air.”

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.