HONOLULU (KHON2) — A shooting in Kalihi just before midnight sent a man to the hospital in critical condition on Tuesday, May 25.
Police say the suspect had a handgun and allegedly pointed it at the officers.
Police say the suspect also allegedly rammed several vehicles before he was shot in a news conference held Wednesday.
HPD says there is no bodycam footage of the shooting. The officials involved were plainclothes officers who were not equipped with those cameras.
A witness sent KHON2 a cellphone video right after the shooting as officers yelled at the suspect to show his hands. HPD says officers with the Crime Reduction Unit went to Hikina Lane to serve two bench warrants to 27-year-old Dion Kitzmiller.
They spotted him parked in a Jeep with two other passengers, and police say as they approached, Kitzmiller waved a handgun, drove off and hit four other vehicles. He then stopped and officers approached him again.
“As they did the suspect turned towards the officers still brandishing the handgun and one of the officers fired multiple shots striking the suspect in the upper body,” said acting chief Rade Vanic of HPD.
Vanic says the weapon was recovered at the scene. Kitzmiller was wanted on charges that include kidnapping and terrorristic threatening. He also has eight convictions, six of them are felonies. HPD says officers identified themselves before approaching and made it clear with what they were wearing.
“They were fully attired in police bulletproof vests with clearly identifiable police markings on both the front and back of the vests,” said Vanic.
This is the third police shooting since Monday, April 5. HPD says there is security footage from a nearby building in Tuesday’s shooting but has no plans to release it. Police released bodycam footage from the fatal shooting of Lindani Myeni, and some say the inconsistency shows the lack of transparency from HPD.
“Our community is looking at the authorities for transparency and you can’t be transparent when you’re picking and choosing which videos you’re gonna release. Does this video make HPD look good? Okay we’ll release it,” said Megan Kau, a defense attorney.
The recent shootings are also a concern for the mayor, who wants more transparency from HPD.
“I’ve talked to Chief Vanic who’s gonna be stepping in as the interim chief about that very issue and how sensitive this topic is. And so we owe it to the members of our community to make sure our police department is transparent in everything that it does,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi.