Police investigate deadly officer-involved shooting in Nanakuli

Local News

Honolulu police are investigating an officer-involved shooting in Nanakuli Thursday morning that left a 53-year-old man dead.

Witnesses say it stemmed from an hours-long standoff on Mokiawa Street near Opuhe Street, involving a suspect who was shot and killed.

Police say when they went to the residence at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to serve a temporary restraining order to the man, who is a convicted felon, they saw him inside with a shotgun. Police say they repeatedly asked him to come out, but he refused.

Honolulu police set up a perimeter and called their Specialized Services Division, or SWAT, that reached the home at around midnight.

“The male walked in and out of the home multiple times over the next several hours displaying the shotgun,” said HPD Deputy Chief John McCarthy. “At about 4:20 a.m. this morning, the male pointed his gun at the officers. Gunfire was exchanged. Three officers fired back, fatally wounding the male.”

An officer was shot and sustained a serious leg injury. The 47-year-old officer has been in the department for 21 years.

He is the handler for a K-9, Hunter, who was also injured. Hunter sustained a neck injury and had to undergo surgery. He was wearing a vest. Both are expected to recover.

Two other officers were injured and received treatment at the scene. They have 31 years and 10 years of experience at the department.

Family members have identified the man as Gavalynn Mahuka, 53, also known as Gabby.

They say there have been problems with other siblings who were living in the house, in part because of his drug use, which they say made him violent.

One of his brothers tells us there were times when Mahuka would threaten other family members by leaving pointed knives just outside their rooms.

The brother says his wife filed the restraining order because she feared that Mahuka would go after them.

Mahuka has a long criminal record that goes as far back as 1989. He’s been convicted 14 times, three of them for felony charges which include kidnapping and assault. 

Neighbors say they knew the family was having problems, but never expected it to end this way.

“I just told myself I can’t believe this is what’s going on right now outside of our home, and it was a lot sadder for me because I’ve known him a majority of my life,” said Leihua Levasa.

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