HONOLULU (KHON2) –A 27-year-old man was killed in the ninth officer involved shooting this year. It happened overnight in the Coral Boat Harbor area of Campbell Industrial Park.
Chief Susan Ballard said a patrol officer saw a man driving on the wrong side of the road. The officer was doing a patrol of the Kalaeloa area as part of HPD’s increased response to recent violent crimes. When the officer attempted to pull the suspect over, the suspect ditched his moped and tried to run away.
“The officer exited his subsidized vehicle, and pursued the suspect on foot. After a brief foot chase, the suspect went back to the moped and tried to start it up. At this time the officer observed the suspect holding a knife in his right hand. The officer drew his firearm ordering the suspect to drop the knife. The suspect ignored the officers repeated commands,” Ballard explained.
The officer’s bodycam footage shows the officer telling the suspect to drop his weapon.
When the suspect refused, the officer deployed his taser two times, but the suspect didn’t go down.
“After failing to comply with the officer’s commands, the officer approached the suspect who was still trying to start the moped while he was brandishing the knife. The suspect then lunged toward the officer with the knife at which time the officer fired and struck the suspect,” Ballard said.
The suspect was identified by his family as Dana Brown.
His mother Mary, said she received a call from the medical examiner at 3A.M. She is still in shock.
“It’s hard to believe– hard to imagine that he’s not going to be here anymore that’s my only son.”
Brown said the medical examiner told her and her husband not to go down, but they did anyway. When they arrived, she said she wasn’t even allowed to see her son. She said she just wants to know why he died.
“And they don’t even tell us really what happened–just that he got multiple gunshots in his abdomen and his chest,” Brown said.
“It doesn’t make sense…I know one bullet would have knocked him down and they could arrest him but why do they have to shoot to kill?”
Ballard said that officers go through extensive training and are trained to shoot to stop.
“We never shoot to kill. We shoot to stop. The officers are trained in all of our fire arms training as we do, shoot to stop the threat,” Ballard explained.
She said they are trained to shoot at the torso area, the main body mass.
“Our officers are trained. They are trained over and over again so when they come across these situations they revert back to the training that they have. There is not one officer that goes out there and wants to take sombody’s life–that is not something they want to do. Sometimes it’s a split decision they have to make and it’s not something they forget easily.”
Ballard said they did recover the knife Brown used to threaten the officer.
According to police, Brown had two prior misdemeanor convictions and was wanted on an $11,000 warrant for abuse of a family or household member.
The shooting was the ninth officer involved shooting so far this year. According to Ballard, there were 12 officer involved shootings in 2018.