HONOLULU (KHON2) — A 16-year-old boy is dead and a 50-year-old man is in custody after a shooting near public housing in Kalihi Thursday night. The teen was killed on Kula Kolea Drive just after 11 p.m. The man connected with the shooting was arrested at the scene.
A witness said it all started with an alleged burglary at the suspect’s home earlier that day. And police were at the location investigating the burglary until after 10 p.m.
Not long after police left she said she saw four boys hop the fence separating the shooter’s house from public housing.
“I seen four boys running toward the dumpster after I heard a loud pop.”
Then she said she saw the shooter outside standing outside his home.
“He was like, ‘Yeah, the boys came back hopped the fence to grab their jacket and that’s when I got him…I got him good,” the witness said.
She said the sensor light at the shooter’s home went on and lit him up along with the area around him.
“I could see a handheld gun in his right hand and he was using bulletproof vest with no shirt on.”
That’s when she said the other boys returned.
“The boy was yelling, ‘you shot my little brother!’ And as soon as he said that, that’s when the BB gun started going off,” she explained.
She’s isn’t sure if they had threatened or fired the pellet gun at the shooter prior to him shooting at them.
Attorney Rick Fried said that knowing who fired first is an important detail when it comes to the law pertaining to the use of deadly force.
“If in fact they were shooting at him and he had genuine fear for his life …then he could justifiably, at least arguably, go ahead and use deadly force. And the question would be was he actually hit by a pellet? If it, in fact, they started firing before he shot, that would make a big difference…Did he see a gun in this young man’s hand? Did he have any reason to think there was a gun? Otherwise, I think you have less reason to justifiably kill somebody. If he just sees this kid outside and went and started firing, I think that’s probably going to be excessive force in our state ” Fried said.
Fried added that if the shooter was, in fact, wearing a bulletproof vest that could also make it difficult for him to claim self-defense.
“If he had time to get (the bulletproof vest) on–if he did it before the shooting–that would make his self-defense argument significantly weaker.”
The suspect is still in custody but has not yet been charged.
The Hawaii Public Housing authority declined to comment because the shooting itself did not occur on their property.