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Honolulu Police Fatally Shoot 2 Men In Less Than 24 Hours

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher/AP
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard talks to reporters about the second officer-involved shooting in less than 24 hours, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019.

Honolulu police were reviewing body camera footage after police fatally shot a second man in less than 24 hours. The shootings come as there appears to be uptick in Honolulu crime. Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard says she is concerned that there has been about a 20% increase in the number of violent crimes involving firearms.

On Monday, police shot and killed a man who rammed a vehicle at officers, fled and fired at police. On Tuesday morning, an officer shot and killed a 27-year-old man with a stolen moped who lunged at him with a knife.

Monday's shooting started after two men wearing ski masks were seen in a Sam's Club parking lot in Pearl City, Ballard said. Police found their vehicle on Kamehameha Highway and ordered them to get out. Instead, the driver rammed an unmarked police car and headed for the freeway.

Officers pursued them, and a police helicopter spotted the passenger exit the vehicle in the Aiea area. The driver continued on to Honolulu. He got out of the vehicle and ran, with officers chasing him, Ballard said.

At some point, the man fell to the ground and began firing at officers, Ballard said.

“Fearing for their lives, the officers returned fire," Ballard said.

The suspect then ran toward a Nissan dealership and pointed his firearm as the officers fired, hitting the man, Ballard said.

He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Tuesday's shooting involved an officer following a man riding the wrong way on a stolen moped in the Campbell Industrial Park area. Ballard showed reporters footage from the officer's body camera, showing him yelling for the man to drop the knife. The officer said he was going to shoot, according to video.

The officer fired a stun gun twice at the man, but it didn't seem to have an effect as he was able to pull the probes from his clothes, Ballard said.

The officer is heard breathing heavily, but the footage doesn't show the man lunging at him or the actual shooting.

“The actual struggle happened quickly and in close range and there was a lot of camera movement going on," Ballard said. It was also dark, at about 1 a.m."

The uptick in Honolulu crime includes the shooting death of a 71-year-old woman over the weekend.

But Ballard said Tuesday that murders and rapes have decreased since last year. There have been some increases in aggravated assaults and robberies, according to police statistics.

“Our main concern is the increase we’re seeing in the use of firearms in these various types of crimes," Ballard said.

Gun violence is generally rare in Hawaii, where there are strict gun laws.

“This is Hawaii, we’re not used to this," Ballard said Monday. "It’s really sad to see. Please stop. This is getting nuts.”

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