POSTED: 06:23 p.m. HST, Aug 18, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 08:43 a.m. HST, Aug 19, 2014
The family of a 39-year-old Honolulu police officer said his death Monday morning was due to a gunshot wound from an accidental discharge of a handgun at his Wilhelmina Rise home Saturday evening.
Jens Magelssen, a Honolulu police officer, was showing his handgun to a friend during a barbecue at his home on Sierra Drive when it accidentally discharged, his uncle Mark Magelssen said.
"There was no intention for anyone to get hurt," he said. "Jens was just showing the gun to someone, and it accidentally went off. No one else shot him and he was not attempting to shoot himself. It was just a terrible, tragic accident.
"It's carelessness on Jens' part, which is unusual because he's usually a very careful person," he said.
Jens Magelssen died Monday morning at the Queen's Medical Center Monday after he was taken off life support, his uncle said.
The Honolulu medical examiner will conduct an autopsy Tuesday to determine the cause and manner of death.
"Everybody's still in a state of shock," said Mark Magelssen, who is also an emergency room doctor. "It's very important that people are extremely careful when they handle a gun, even if you're just showing it to someone."
Mark Magelssen, a Kauai resident, said his nephew is originally from Tacoma, Wash., and moved to Hawaii about six years ago to be closer to his son, Luke, 8, who lives here with his mother.
"He was a very, very attentive and loving father, so it's been a real tragedy for the family," he said, adding that although he never married, he had been very involved in his son's care.
"Ever since he was a young boy, he's always had a very gentle, kind and loving heart," Mark Magelssen said.
He was also a very good athlete and completed a triathlon in Canada, he added.
Jens Magelssen was surrounded by his family when he died, including son Luke and his mother.
Magelssen's parents, David and Penelope, arrived in Honolulu from Blane, Wash., and his sister Ruth also lives here.
He said the family was touched by the outpouring of support from his fellow officers, who visited him while he was hospitalized.
"He enjoyed his work and was really developing some great friendships within the police department here," he said.
The family was also grateful for the wonderful care at Queen's and the care and concern shown by the police department.
HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu declined to confirm whether Magelssen was an officer, except to say that police are investigating the death.
His LinkedIn page shows he joined the Honolulu Police Department in April 2008. He served as a corrections officer with the Washington State Department of Corretions from 2004 to 2008 and a mental health counselor with the Monroe Correctional Complex, Special Offenders Unit, for nearly a year.
He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, Tacoma, in 2000 and attended the Pacific Lutheran University from 1994 to 1996.
He is also survived by sister Faith Walker and brother, Finn.