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Honolulu police officers shoot, kill suspected car thief

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 3:40 p.m. HST, Aug 6, 2014

A man suspected of attempting to steal a car in Pacific Palisades was shot and killed early Wednesday morning by two police officers, in the second officer-involved fatal shooting in Honolulu in a week.

The man was in his 40s, according to police.

Police have in custody at least one person, who was in the allegedly stolen car when it was stopped at 2:45 a.m. in the 2100 block of Komo Mai Drive.

The officers involved in the shooting are members of the Honolulu Police Department's crime reduction unit, which was on patrol in Pearl City neighborhood looking for suspected car thieves. At least two unmarked police cars were involved in the incident, according to police.

The suspect died at the scene.

It took more than six hours before the medical examiner was able to take the body to the morgue, as police investigated the shooting.

A neighbor, who lives across the street, said he was awoken when he heard "tires screeching, but I didn't (think) too much of it since there are always people drag racing on this street."

The witness said he heard screaming. "There were at least six shots, which at first I thought were fireworks," the neighbor said.

"I didn't put two and two together until I came out and saw three or four police officers."

A black sedan hit a stone wall in front of the house damaging its hood. Police used a sheet to cover the front windshield to prevent anyone from seeing the body in the sedan until it was removed by the medical examiner's office just before 9 a.m.

Several neighbors said the Komo Mai Drive home where the shooting occurred is a known "drug house" where there are cars parked nearby at all hours "with people coming and going."

Police closed Komo Mai Drive between Auhulu and Aumakua streets for several hours during the investigation.

Honolulu Prosector Keith Kaneshiro went to the shooting scene because it involved police officers.

The two officers are expected to be placed on desk duty while an internal HPD investigation is conducted.

Police officials planned to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to detail the second shooting by HPD officers in a week.

On July 30, a six-year-veteran of the police force, also a member of its plain clothes detail, shot and killed Richard Nelson, 52, on Kuhio Avenue. Nelson, who was drunk at the time, tried to flee in his car after hitting a bus, police said.

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