‘Hawaii just turned into something it’s never been before…it’s sad,’ residents react to Diamond Head tragedy

Tragedy at Diamond Head

Sunday, Jan. 19, was a morning no one in the Diamond Head area expected to wake up to.

In fact, many Honolulu residents say they’re shocked what took place today happened in Hawaii.

Many Honolulu residents woke up to the sounds of sirens and gunshots.

“I just saw cops, cops, cops coming and I was thinking a police officer is down since there were so many. We’ve never experienced this in our neighborhood before,” said Diamond Head resident Nanina Simonsen said.

KHON2 spoke with the newspaper delivery man was also caught in the middle of the shooting.

“One officer ran out, he was holding his thigh or leg and everyone was yelling that another officer was down in the driveway,” recalled Patrick Nakahara Sr. “They’re trying to clear everyone and make sure it’s safe to go grab him and then when they thought it was safe everyone covered each other, they went in grabbed him and took cover and try to do CPR and revive him and get him back and they took him to the ambulance. Not even two minutes later the house just started blazing up and just started burning and burning.”

Many Honolulu residents watched the scene unfold in disbelief.

“This type of event just doesn’t happen over here in Hawaii,” said Honolulu resident Brian Swilly. “This is unfortunate and I hope it doesn’t slow people from coming here but be aware of your surroundings folks and what’s going on around you.”

“I walk my dog here all the time and it’s a great neighborhood, this is just such a terrible thing,” Diamond Head resident Fransisca Dijk. “The people are so friendly here and the houses all those cute houses that burned down there—it’s just horrible. Children live there, it’s a horrible thing.”

Longtime Hawaii residents say Hawaii is sadly changing.

“I lived here my whole life and I never heard of anything like this happening until just this past year. Officers shooting people, people shooting officers, people with guns in general. Everyone fought and it was done and everything was fine but this happens and you put kids in jeopardy, you take away people’s houses, people have no homes, you’re getting evicted that means you did something wrong, you forfeited your bargain and you get mad and you take it out on the person that owns the house? And you leave all these other people without a house? Without somewhere to sleep? Without a place to call home? Hawaii just turned into something it’s never been and that’s sad, just sad,” Nakahara Sr. said.

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