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Hawaii News

Slain theft suspect was ‘real nice guy’

The former landlord of Michael Kahana Davis, who died Thursday after being shot by police in Kalihi on Tuesday, said he was surprised to hear what Davis allegedly did the day he got shot.

Police said Davis had broken into a car before running into a Kalihi business and shooting at a police officer, before being shot in the head.

"He was a real nice guy," former landlord James Perez said. "There’s a lot of things that surprise me about the whole thing."

Perez, a deacon at First Baptist Church in Wahiawa, said Davis was a courteous tenant on his property for about six years and moved out a year ago. Davis’ widow and daughter, a junior in high school, still live on Perez’s property in Wahiawa.

A relative in Makaha said Davis, 50, was a father of eight and had 11 grandchildren. He died Thursday night at the Queen’s Medical Center. He had been shot in the head.

Police said the shooting happened after a security guard noticed a man trying to steal a car in a parking lot on Kalani Street before 10:50 a.m. Tuesday. When confronted by the guard, the man ran into a building across the street.

Responding officers were speaking to an employee inside the building when Davis emerged and fired at an officer with an improvised firearm, police said. An officer returned fire and wounded Davis in the head.

Perez said Davis was a certified auto mechanic and worked as a plumber until being laid off recently because of the recession.

"He was a very handy man," Perez said.

Davis had fixed the plumbing at Perez’s church. There was also an incident, he said, when a group of men were picking a fight because Perez was going to call the police after they hit his daughter’s car. Davis came out and got the men to leave, Perez said.

He said Davis spent a lot of time with his daughter, fishing and going to the beach with her and taking her to school.

Davis had a criminal record, with 16 felony convictions for offenses such as robbery, kidnapping, auto theft and terroristic threatening, according to the state criminal database.

In 2000, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbery, but was released from prison the following year, according to the Department of Public Safety. He had no convictions since his probation was modified in 2001, according to state records.

Perez said Davis told him his problems in the past stemmed from hanging out with the wrong guys. He said while Davis looked intimidating, standing over 6 feet tall and adorned with tattoos, he was courteous.


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