UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 21 — The investigation on Hibiscus Drive, the scene of a tragic shooting and fire on Sunday, resulted in the discovery of human remains. On Tuesday, Jan. 21 investigators recovered the remains but have yet to determine whether it is one or two people. The remains were turned over to the Medical Examiner for identification which will also reveal the gender, which also remains unknown.
HONOLULU (KHON2) — Police Chief Susan Ballard confirmed Jerry Hanel to be the suspect in the shooting that killed two officers on Sunday, Jan. 19. Chief Ballard said that officers responded to the scene after a report of a stabbing.
The landlady of the home that Hanel was renting, attempted to evict him this morning. When officers arrived, they found a person bleeding from a stab wound in her leg. As officers walked toward the house, Hanel opened fire, shooting Officer Tiffany Enriquez. Officer Kaulike Kalama was shot as a second group of officers advanced toward the house. They both died of their injuries.
The suspect, who now faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and assault, remains unaccounted for. One female is also reported to be unaccounted for, her last known location was at Hanel’s home. One woman who was previously unaccounted for was found off-site on Monday, Jan. 20. Police interviewed her and found her to be in good condition.
Drone video shows several homes burning after the eviction attempt that led to a shooting that claimed the lives of two police officers. Video courtesy Akiko Hokota.
Drone video shows the same area approximately 24 hours after the fire started. Investigators are seen sifting through the burned remains. Video courtesy Akiko Hokota.
The house was reportedly set on fire after the shootings. According to the Honolulu Fire Department, the blaze then spread to twelve surrounding houses, a number of vehicles and an HPD car. Other homes in the area were evacuated. Residents congregated in the nearby park, awaiting word that they could return to their houses–many not knowing the condition of their homes.
The house is reported to be a multi-story structure with one unit downstairs and a separate unit upstairs. A witness told us that a family with a small child lives upstairs from the suspect’s unit. Neighbors were able to confirm that that child as well as several children across the street were safe.
Hanel reportedly lived in the home for over ten years. At least two witnesses that we spoke to had a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on him and it appears none of the neighbors were aware that he possessed a firearm. Chief Ballard said that Hanel did not have permits to own a weapon.
Roads were closed in the area: westbound on Diamond Head Rd., eastbound on Paki Rd. and Kalakaua Ave. and there appeared to be some traffic, mostly due to detours. As of Monday, Jan. 20, the road has been re-opened with limited access to residents.
Fifty fire personnel responded to the scene and, according to sources, were escorted by police to put out the fire due to the threat of gunfire. Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves said the fire was completely extinguished at the time of the news conference which was held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19. The investigation is ongoing, with both fire and police investigating and the FBI offering support, as needed. Five homes were totally destroyed and multiple others had fire and smoke damage.
Video courtesy Eric Clark
According to Police Chief Ballard, Enriquez is a mother with seven years experience. Kalama is a father who had nine years experience. Dozens of officers and agents were seen outside of the Queen’s Medical Center, presumably to show support for the officers’ families and to support each other after such a tragic loss to the department.
In the wake of the fires that destroyed five homes in the Diamond Head area, two families, including a total of nine people, utilized the City and County of Honolulu shelter, operated by the American Red Cross. The shelter, located at Waikīkī Elementary off Leahi and Monsarrat closed on Monday, Jan. 20. For displaced residents seeking assistance, the City is opening a shelter at Kilauea District Park at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20.
“While we all mourn the heartbreaking loss of two of Honolulu’s finest, their fellow first responders are still out there. Our prayers are with the families of the officers we lost, and with first responders still working to keep our communities safe,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.