Suspects in officer-involved shooting targeted several victims prior, one victim speaks out

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A violent crime spree turned deadly. Honolulu police say Monday’s police shooting involved six suspects ranging in age from 14 to 22 years old and multiple locations.

It ended with five suspects in custody and a 16-year-old boy dead.

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Police say it started Saturday, April 3, 2021 in Kailua, where a car was reported stolen. That same vehicle was later linked to a burglary and car theft in Kaimuki, then a purse-snatching in Waikiki, and finally an armed robbery in Moiliili.

On Monday, April 5, 2021 in the afternoon, officers spotted the suspect vehicle at Kawaikui Beach Park and followed it onto Kalanianaole Highway, the H-1 Freeway, then Kapiolani Boulevard. It all came to an end near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Phillips Street, where the vehicle crashed into a canal.

Before the suspects’ vehicle was located, there was an armed robbery on Isenberg street. One of the victims tells us he has no idea why they were targeted. Around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, Hung Thai was sitting inside his home when his friend tried to warn him about two men.

“I turned around and the two guys inside my back door already, and they pulled the gun already,” said Thai.

The suspects demanded money from them.

“He pointed the gun at one of my friend in the back,” he said. “Then pointed the gun at my wife right here.”

Afraid for his wife, Thai diverted the attention towards him.

“I stand up, and they point the gun at me,” he said. “I showed them shoot me, shoot me I tell them.”

That’s when his friend threw a barbeque grill at the suspects. They took off but not without grabbing a bag that was on the kitchen table.

“When they run and come out,” said Thai. “One guy go that way. One guy crossed the street and the car parked over there. We yelling, yelling. Two girls exercising, they take a picture of the car.”

Within the hour, sources say a woman called 911 after she saw her friend’s stolen vehicle at Kawaikui Beach Park. Police Chief Susan Ballard says officers located and followed the vehicle as it left Kawaikui Beach Park and sped off on Kalanianaole Highway heading West.

Officers were able to block in the vehicle near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Phillips Street.

Chief Ballard says they believe the vehicle rammed two police cars, crashed through a fence, and dove into the Kalakaua Canal. During this time, officers fired multiple shots. Some ran out and were chased by police.

The 16-year-old driver of the car later died at the hospital.

After learning how the situation unfolded, Thai had this to say: “Please be careful. Protect yourself, protect your family, protect your community. We stick together, fight, and help each other out.”

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