Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting, police still searching for 2nd suspect

Honolulu police are searching for a second suspect following a deadly officer-involved shooting in Kahuku Friday.

It happened at around 4 p.m. at the Malaekahana Beach Campground.

At a press conference Friday night, assistant chief Janet Crotteau said an officer tracked down a stolen truck and ordered the driver to stop.

The truck struck the officer, Crotteau said, and the officer opened fire. The 29-year-old male driver was hit multiple times in the chest. He was hospitalized in critical condition and later died.

The officer, who has 17 years with the department, was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and released. Police say he was put on administrative leave, as in standard practice.

“If he thought his life was threatened, yes, his life or another person’s life, then we can discharge our firearm,” Crotteau said.

“We were just cruising over here, surfing a little bit, and we came to get our clothes out of the car, and a bunch of the cars rolled up,” said Billy Bittler. “We kind of suspected that they were not very good to be around so we left, and then right when we got down to the beach, we heard gunshots. I thought they were fireworks, but I guess they were really gunshots.”

Photo: Tupu Wheeler
Photo: Tupu Wheeler

Police said the truck’s front passenger fled the scene. Crotteau described him as a man in his late 20s, 170-180 pounds, with multiple tattoos on his chest and stomach. He was wearing dark-colored shorts and no shirt.

Police did a sweep of the area but could not find him. Police say only two suspects were involved.

“They were just going one after another. I’ve never seen so many police cars at one time, and then I see unmarked cars following,” said Bessie Kamakeeaina. “(Then we) noticed all these police cars parked on the side of the highway in one of the locked gate areas into Malaekahana.”

Crotteau said the vehicle was stolen in the Waialua area, and the owner was well-known, as was the vehicle.

No one else was hurt. No homes or schools were put on lockdown.

The road and entrance to the campground were closed temporarily as police investigated the scene. They have since been reopened.

Photo: Bessie Kamakeeaina
Photo: Bessie Kamakeeaina

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