A family of a 47-year-old theft suspect fatally shot by Honolulu police at the Pearlridge Center more than two years ago has filed a Circuit Court lawsuit against the city, the Police Department and unnamed police officers.
The suit over the death of Thomas Joseph Loewe alleges police officers used “excessive and unjustified” force on March 19, 2008, by shooting him seven times at point blank range.
The suit filed on Thursday asks for an unspecified amount of money.
City attorneys could not be reached for comment, but then-Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said in August 2008 that the use of the deadly force was justified.
Carlisle said the office’s investigation showed there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against a police officer who shot Loewe.
Loewe was trying to drive from the second-floor parking lot at Pearlridge Center Phase III after police tried to arrest him for unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Carlisle said Loewe’s car collided with occupied and unoccupied cars and he placed several police officers at risk of serious injury or death.
Carlisle said the officer believed he had to fire the shots to prevent Loewe from harming officers and the public if he left the area.
Shortly after the shooting, then-Chief Boisse Correa of the Honolulu Police Department said five shots were fired, but some witnesses said they heard seven shots.