HPD: 2 who died in apparent mass overdose in Waikiki likely took fentanyl-laced drugs
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the first time Wednesday, Honolulu police said the two men who died in a suspected mass overdose in Waikiki over the weekend apparently ingested fentanyl.
The two who died were identified as Joseph Iseke, 44, of Kailua, and 53-year-old Steven Berengue of Kailua-Kona.
Three others were hospitalized.
Their official cause of death has not been released, but HPD said fentanyl was apparently mixed in with other drugs.
“The five individuals did drugs and overdosed on what appears to be fentanyl,” HPD Deputy Chief Keith Horikawa told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday.
“They came here for a concert on a Friday. They went to the hotel and it looks like they did some illicit drugs.”
Horikawa said first responders were called after one of the members woke up and called 911.
HPD said Iseke was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday morning.
Berengue was pronounced dead at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.
According to state health officials, fatal fentanyl overdoses have increased 400% in the last five years.
In 2022, fentanyl killed a record 60 people in Hawaii.
Police are still investigating the deaths. Federal law enforcement will likely be involved in the investigation.
“As its stands now, it is only a federal crime to distribute and kill someone,” said Maj. Mike Lambert, head of the HPD’s Narcotics Division.
“We do not have a state equivalent so all of our overdoses will done with either DEA or FBI or HSI.”
Copyright 2023 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.