Two Honolulu police officers yesterday shot and killed a machete-wielding Waianae man in a busy shopping plaza after the man swung the blade at and nearly struck an officer.
Earlier, the man, 36, who may have been on drugs, had used the machete to attack another man in the vicinity.
The shooting occurred about 1:15 p.m. in the parking lot of the Waianae branch of First Hawaiian Bank, which borders the bustling parking lot of Tamura Superette.
Deputy Police Chief Delbert Tatsuyama said last night that the officers repeatedly told the man to put down the machete.
"Instead, he ran toward one of the officers and swung at the officer, narrowly missing him," he said. "Both officers fired at the suspect."
Tatsuyama said several shots were fired and the man was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Earlier in the day, Tatsuyama said, the man swung the machete at another man, injuring him in the head and shoulders. He was hospitalized in stable condition.
Patrick Lum, 54, who lives directly across the bank parking lot, said the problem began two doors away at a halfway house at 86-012 Analipo St., where an argument occurred between the man who was shot and the man who was injured.
The man with the machete then walked to the bank parking lot nearby.
"The guy was just waving the knife around," Lum said. "He was spooky.
"When the police officers came, they tried real hard to talk this guy down," he said. "He was pacing all over this parking lot. He looked right at me and he turned and went full blast with the knife at the officers. … My heart’s still racing."
Lum said: "After four rounds, he was still coming at the officer. Someone told me he was high on ice."
Lum said he counted at least five rounds fired, and officers checked his house for any stray bullets. He said he was particularly concerned because his daughter and 15-month-old grandson were outside.
Tatsuyama said the man, who was on probation, had six convictions, including felonies for car theft and burglary.
Two police officers responded to a call about 1:15 p.m. that a man was wielding a machete near the bank, Tatsuyama said.
He said the patrol officers, one with 20 years’ experience and the other with 12 years’ experience, are assigned to Kapolei.
Tatsuyama said the normal policy after such a shooting is to place the officers on administrative leave.
The motive for the man’s actions was still being investigated.
Donald Donato, 44, who watched the police follow up from the supermarket parking lot, said he spoke to the resident manager at the halfway house, who told him the man had been battling a problem with crystal methamphetamine, or "ice," which had gotten so bad he was hearing voices.
"People is upset because why they never just wound him?" said Donato, who added that the officers "had to do their job" and that they were defending themselves and protecting others in the community.
Donato noted the whole incident was dangerous.
"This is the heart of town," he said. "Imagine if there was a kid around."
Another man questioned why police did not use a Taser.
Patti, a nearby resident on Hoaa Street who did not want her last name used, said of the incident: "I don’t like it. It’s so close to home. We got too many halfway houses in this area. Scary because we got a lot of gunshots. We don’t look where it’s coming from. We just duck."
The resident manager of the halfway house, where police had roped off the area with yellow tape, refused to talk with the Star-Advertiser and residents were instructed not to talk to the media.