Emotional reunion for Diamond Head victims and first responders

Tragedy at Diamond Head

As the community pitches into help the victims of the Diamond Head tragedy, Tuesday was also an opportunity to thank the first responders who came to help.

Each passing day is a chance for the victims to recover and pick up the pieces. We’re learning that it’s not just the victims who are in need of healing.

A luncheon held by La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls was a chance for victims and first responders to reunite.

“Can I give you a hug? I’m glad you’re okay standing here today, I appreciate it,” said paramedic Kaipo Hayashida to Gisela Ricardi King.

This is their first meeting since Hayashida treated King at the scene for stab wounds after being attacked by Jerry Hanel. He’s relieved that she’s up and around, and admires her courage from that day as shots were fired around them.

“You weren’t even worried about yourself, you were just worried about, no we have a seven-year-old. I felt scared for you too,” said Hayashida.

“Yeah the shooting, I knew the three kids were in the room, in the house, they should be rescued from the back of the house,” said King.

Both describe a chaotic scene as she was placed in the ambulance. She’s grateful for his help and for another paramedic who got her out of there fast.

“He says close the door, we’re leaving now, this is like a war zone. He was very determined to finally leave,” said King.

For Hayashida, the pain from that day is still raw. He knew both police officers, Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, who were shot by Hanel. He says it was tough enough trying to do his job at the time, but it hit him hardest when he got home.

“I went home to my family. I see my son crawling to me and then I could feel for the families and everything like that, just appreciation that I was able to go home safe,” said Hayashida.

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