HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said the officer-involved shooting of 48-year-old Ricky Kaleopaa near the Ala Moana Center on Jan. 24 was justified after the officer’s attempted several times to defuse the situation.
Honolulu police officers responded to a report of a man being threatened by someone with a knife near the bus stop on Kona Street.
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The prosecuting attorney’s office shared surveillance video and officer body-cam footage of the shooting near the intersection of Kona and Kona Iki Streets. Alm said the suspect was given several opportunities to stand down and drop his knife.
In the video, a police officer identified as Officer One was heard many times saying, “Drop the knife, drop the knife, drop the knife come on, drop the knife, tell me what’s going on? tell me what’s going on?”
The interaction between Officer One and Kaleopaa takes place in less than a minute and 30 seconds before two officers open fire.
Alm said, “More than 25 times, you could hear Officer One trying to talk him down trying to engage him in conversation, trying to deescalate the situation.”
Police said Kaleopaa held a knife with a nearly six and a quarter-inch blade.
Alm said just before the shooting officers were trying to grab a less-lethal weapon inside a police vehicle’s trunk.
Alm said, “But as you can see as all of that was happening Mr. Kaleopaa charged, so they had no choice but to shoot.”
The SHOPO President Robert Cavaco said,
“Responding officers exhaustively attempted to de-escalate a quickly unfolding and violent incident orchestrated by an armed suspect, Mr. Kaleopaa. These officers were forced to take action to protect themselves and the public from a potentially lethal attack from the armed suspect. We agree with Prosecuting Attorney Alm that our officers’ actions were both legal and justified and this incident reinforces the danger our officers must confront each day to try and keep our communities safe.”
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Kaleopaa faces multiple felony charges, including attempted assault of a law enforcement officer in the first degree and terroristic threatening in the first degree.