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Police investigate shooting following car chase

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

LAST UPDATED: 9:19 p.m. HST, Feb 19, 2011

A state sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a man today after a car chase that began with the sighting of a stolen car on Lagoon Drive near the airport and ended 20 minutes later at the H-1 freeway westbound offramp in Kunia.

Paramedics took a man who appeared to be in his 30s to a hospital in serious condition, Emergency Medical Services said.

The deputy who fired his weapon was taken to a hospital with minor injuries sustained during a struggle with one of two suspects, state Sheriff Charles Lacaden said.

Police closed the Kunia offramp from 9:27 a.m. to 1:57 p.m. while they gathered evidence. Honolulu police took over the case, Lacaden said.

A passenger in the stolen car, a 42-year-old Waipahu man, was charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and released on $2,000 bail. He was unhurt.

The sheriff’s office has jurisdiction over the area surrounding the airport, and the incident occurred in the airport industrial district.

A sheriff’s deputy who is in his late 40s and has more than 10 years of service saw a green Honda Accord with two people inside commit an undisclosed traffic violation near Waiwai Loop at about 8:50 a.m., said Dan Meisenzahl, state Department of Transportation spokesman.

The deputy called in the license plate and learned the car had been reported stolen, Meisenzahl said. The deputy tried to stop the car, but the driver fled, he said. The deputy pursued in his marked cruiser.

“The deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over, and a chase ensued, which took us from the airport area to here (in Kunia),” Lacaden said.

Twelve miles from the airport, the Accord came to a stop in the middle of the offramp, halfway between the freeway exit and Kunia Road. A struggle between the deputy sheriff and the driver carried over into some brush along the shoulder of the offramp. A knife and bloody clothing were recovered nearby.

A radio call that shots were fired was made about 9:10 a.m., Meisenzahl said.

“A struggle ensued as the deputy tried to make the arrest. Shots were fired,” Lacaden said. The driver was taken to the Queen’s Medical Center, he said.

Lacaden said he believes the weapon fired was the deputy sheriff’s standard-issue Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol.

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