The Honolulu Police Department released Tuesday video of a shooting by officers last month that killed a suspect who, they say, had a knife and lunged at an officer.
On Sept. 27, police say the suspect, Michael Perez, stole from the Hele gas station convenience store on Dillingham Boulevard. When officers caught up to him, he was in front of Foodland armed with a knife.
Police say officers told him several times to drop the knife.
“He was already starting toward officers and they were in rather close proximity. The Taser deployed, from what we understand, in less than 15 feet away, and he raises the knife and is coming at the officers at that point even after the Taser (deploys). The Taser had no effect,” said Deputy Chief John McCarthy.
“If the Taser is activated and hits you, you know immediately if it’s effective or not. In this case, from what we understand and again, we’re taking the officers’ statements, the male actually raised the knife in an effort to throw it. He was singling out one of the officers at this point and became much more aggressive, causing the other officers to shoot,” he added.
The video was played during a news conference Tuesday, which was recorded by the stun gun that fired at Perez.
But it doesn’t show much. According to HPD, the video was mistakenly covered by the officer’s hand, or possibly by a police car. The camera is located at the bottom of the gun’s handle.
“They do go through training. They’re trained not to cover the camera when they hold the Taser, but in stressful situations, human nature takes over and you do what you have to do. You’re not concerned about the camera, you’re more concerned about addressing the threat at hand,” McCarthy said.
KHON2 asked if this video clears the two officers who opened fire. McCarthy says the investigation is still ongoing.