POSTED: 12:03 p.m. HST, Mar 8, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 8:47 p.m. HST, Mar 8, 2013
A 35-year-old man was taken in critical condition to the Queen’s Medical Center after he was shot several times by a Honolulu police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call this morning in Kalihi Valley.
Police said the man, identified as Ralph Riveira, was holding a foot-long, metal stake and threatening the officer when he was shot multiple times. A police source said HPD believes the officer fired three shots although at least one neighbor said she had heard five shots.
The source said the stake used as a weapon appeared to be one used for tents.
The shooting happened on the front lawn of the house at 1618 Machado St. in Kalihi Valley about 11 a.m., police said.
Riveira's mother, 54-year-old Nadeen Lane, picked up the stake after he was shot and threatened officers, according to police. Lane was arrested and is being held on one count of first-degree terroristic threatening.
Riveira has seven convictions, including six felonies, police said.
Police said Riveira was in the yard with the mother and her husband when the first officer arrived. Inside were Riveira's girlfriend, their baby, and Riveira's sister.
At a press conference this afternoon, police Deputy Chief Dave Kajihiro said "in this case, the situation was so volatile and so dynamic that, unfortunately, deadly force was necessary."
The officer who fired the shots, a 24-year veteran assigned to the Kalihi station, was placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice after a police shooting, Kajihiro said. An internal affairs investigation has also been launched by the Professional Standards Office as is common procedure, he said.
Domestic cases are among the dangerous situations police must respond to, Kajihiro said, adding that beat officers respond to these volatile situations on a daily basis.
"With both parties, emotions are high," he said. "Officers may be addressing one party and affecting an arrest and the other party, although they were fighting (among themselves) earlier, might come after the officers so it's very, very dangerous."
Kajihiro said HPD responded to two calls at the home in 2012.
Today's shooting happened one block from Kalihi Uka Elementary School but Principal Laura Ahn said police notified her that the school did not need to be put in "lock down" mode. "They said they had it under control," Ahn said.
This was the second time police have shot at a suspect this year. On Jan. 15, Schofield soldier Gregory Gordon was shot and killed by officers as he rammed his pickup truck against patrol cars in an effort to escape capture.