Police: Officers were being dragged by driver who they fatally shot

Police fatally shoot 33-year-old man in stolen vehicle
Published: Feb. 11, 2017 at 2:50 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 12, 2017 at 9:19 AM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu police fatally shot a 33-year-old man inside a stolen vehicle Saturday morning.

It happened around 8:40 a.m. off Ualo Street in Aiea.

Officers were responding to a complaint about a vehicle illegally parked in one of the stalls at Pacific Village Townhomes.

When they arrived, officers realized the dark blue Dodge Ram pickup truck was reported stolen from Ewa Beach on Friday.

A man and a woman were inside the vehicle asleep, police said.

Police officers "attempted to wake the two suspects in the vehicle," said HPD Asst. Chief Richard Robinson. "They awoke and refused to open the doors or surrender to the officers."

That's when officers smashed through the rear driver side window.

Robinson said the driver then started the vehicle and accelerated, dragging two officers with him.

"He then struck a building that was an occupied apartment and then put the vehicle in reverse. He accelerated in reverse at a high rate of speed, again dragging the two officers, striking a vehicle parked in the parking lot," Robinson said.

Police say the driver put the truck back in drive and rammed into a second apartment unit, trapping one of the officers.

That's when the two other officers fired their weapons -- "one through the driver's side rear window and one through the driver's side window, striking the suspect multiple times," Robinson said.

The 33-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger, a 19-year-old woman later identified as Chayla Belford, suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital where she was later arrested for second-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. In addition, she had $61,000 in outstanding arrest warrants.

Police say the three officers involved, two men and one woman, were also taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

They are expected to be OK and have been placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation.

No one else was injured, but the truck did cause extensive damage to two separate buildings at the complex.

"I'm sorry that the residents who live in that building had to go through this," said Robinson. "Their houses were struck and I'm sure it's a very traumatic and upsetting thing. The suspect had many options that he could have exercised to bring this to a peaceful end."

Nani Estevez, a resident at the complex, said things could have gotten much worse.

"I'm glad my neighbors weren't hurt and the officers weren't hurt," she said. "The officers were being dragged because they were trying to get him out and it didn't seem like the driver was going to give up."

It's unclear how the two suspects knew each other or what they were doing in Aiea. Residents tell Hawaii News Now they did not live at the apartment complex.

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