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Medical examiner IDs man killed by police in Pacific Palisades

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 04:31 p.m. HST, Aug 12, 2014

The Medical Examiner's office has identified the 51-year-old career criminal car thief who was shot to death by two police officers in Pacific Palisades while driving a stolen car last week as James Pickard, Jr.

The medical examiner said Tuesday that Pickard died from gunshots to the head and torso. The initial autopsy report did not say how many times the suspect was shot. Pickard's death was classified as a homicide.

Honolulu Police Department Chief Louis Kealoha said after the 2:40 a.m. Aug. 6 shooting that two of three officers who responded had fired seven shots. But HPD later would not say how many shots each officer fired.

One officer is an 18-year HPD veteran while the others have 11 and four years of service. The officers were placed on paid administrative leave, which is routine while an internal investigation is conducted of a police officer involved in a shooting.

The front-seat passenger in the stolen car was Evette Hilongo who was charged with second-degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle. Hilongo was not injured in the shooting on Komo Mai Drive.

Hilongo entered a plea of not guilty in District Court Aug. 7 and was placed on supervised release. Her trial for the car theft charge will be held  Sept. 10 in Ewa District Court.

Pickard has a record 22 convictions, beginning in 1985. Ten of them are felony convictions, including 8 for car theft.

Pickard and his passenger were parked in front of a Komo Mai Drive house, which neighbors describe as "a drug house."

After police in two unmarked police cars checked the licence plate of the black Honda sedan, they were told the car was stolen. Three officers approached the car on foot.

The suspect drove toward the officer who was approaching him from the front, striking the officer's vehicle, according to police.

After hitting the officer's car, the suspect then reversed the car toward two officers who were behind him, police said.

The two officers who had been behind the suspect's car approached the sides of the car with their handguns drawn. The officer on the driver's side of the stolen Honda fired "multiple shots" at the vehicle, according to HPD. Kealoha said the officer in front of the car also fired at the driver several times.

This was the third time police have fired at a suspect within the past month.

On July 30, a six-year veteran of the police force shot and killed Richard Nelson, 52, on Kuhio Avenue. Nelson, who was drunk at the time, tried to flee in his car and nearly struck the officer after hitting a bus.

About a week earlier, on July 24, a police sergeant shot at a man driving a stolen car on Red Hill. The stolen Toyota was recovered, but the suspect was never caught.

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