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Honolulu prosecutor clears 3 police officers in fatal 2019 shooting

Casey Harlow

Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm has cleared three police officers of any wrongdoing in a fatal 2019 shooting at a Kapolei gas station. No charges will be filed against them.

On Nov. 12, 2019, Michael Kahalehoe was shot 12 times by three HPD officers.

Kahalehoe and his partner Melvin Spillner were suspected of robbing a blue Subaru with a firearm two days before the shooting. Both had outstanding bench warrants.

Video from the gas station showed Kahalehoe using the blue Subaru to escape, hitting several police vehicles.

Alm says Kahalehoe was carrying a firearm, and officers say he attempted to reach for his waistband after hitting the cars.

"Our viewpoint is from above, looking down. When you look at it from the ground level, I think it makes an even stronger point that when he’s going forward, there’s an officer standing right there," Alm said. "He scrapes against the car. He then doesn’t go left or go straight, he turns back to the right where the other officers were coming. We’re saying because he was, at that point, turning it back and coming back toward the other officers — they were all justified in taking the shots that they did."

Alm says the officers identified themselves and ordered Kahalehoe to surrender multiple times.

A toxicology screen of Kahalehoe found the presence of amphetamine, methamphetamine and caffeine in his system.

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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