Police shot and killed one man and arrested another yesterday after a crime spree stretching from the University area to Aina Haina that created headaches for drivers for hours after police closed Kalanianaole Highway.
Police said the events, which included stolen vehicles, a carjacking and a man shooting a shotgun at drivers on Kalanianaole Highway, began at about 3 p.m. when a caller reported two men breaking into vehicles near the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
About 10 minutes later the officers were following the stolen vehicle in Aina Haina where they saw it crash into a barrier on Kalanianaole Highway.
Two men ran from the vehicle, one armed with a shotgun, about a hundred yards east of Ainakoa Avenue.
One man, who appeared to be in his mid-20s, ran toward town along Kalanianaole Highway, while the second man ran makai into a residential area, where he punched a driver and stole a car, police said.
"Officers were pursuing the (armed) suspect on foot when he turned and fired at them," said Deputy Police Chief Randy Macadangdang.
He said the gunman was trying to steal an occupied vehicle when an officer in a marked police car drove between the armed suspect and the driver.
The gunman fired again at the officers, who shot back several times, striking him multiple times, police said.
He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Witnesses said he appeared to be wounded in the leg.
The second assailant, 35, who took a car, was stopped about a quarter-mile down Kalanianaole Highway near Holy Nativity Church after apparently causing at least one other accident. He was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and three counts of first-degree robbery.
"In addition to the multiple attempted-murder cases, the shooting and the auto theft, there were also multiple car accidents that had to be investigated, which were spread the whole length of the freeway," said Maj. Richard Robinson.
Police closed Kalanianaole at Ainakoa Avenue to investigate. There were at least four crime scenes along the freeway up to Holy Nativity Church.
Two other people were injured but refused treatment. One man was hurt by the assailant, who punched him to take his car, and another man sustained minor injuries when the police car collided with his pickup truck on Ainakoa Avenue.
Kimberly Seko of Aina Haina was about 20 feet away from the man when he fired his shotgun in the direction of motorists on Kalanianaole Highway. She described a chaotic scene with about a dozen schoolchildren trying to get out of the way.
She noticed the purple Civic drive past her at high speed along Kalanianaole Highway, followed by a couple of police cruisers.
About a minute later she was at the intersection of Ainakoa and Kalanianaole when she saw the man running up the sidewalk on the other side of the street, carrying a shotgun.
A police car drove over the median and smashed into a Toyota pickup truck at the corner of Ainakoa, apparently to cut him off, she said. Officers were shouting at the man to freeze and drop his weapon when he cocked the gun and waved it side to side toward motorists. Seko saw the driver ahead of her duck, and she did, too, to avoid the gunfire.
After the man fired two shots, she saw police shoot him, apparently in the leg. A female officer kicked his gun away, and officers surrounded him on the ground.
"It was just raw and real," she said. "You saw the bullet go in him."
Afterward, she said, she couldn’t stop her hands from shaking.
"You couldn’t believe what was going on, so many elements," she said.
Kelle Vandenberg of Ainakoa Avenue heard the crash, then four or five gunshots while taking out her trash.
"I saw the guy fall," she said. "He was just laying down on the ground."
She described the man as young and thin.
"His eyes were open," she said. "He was really sweating."
Mark Deaton of Ainakoa Avenue heard the gunfire while watching television.
"I heard gunshots … a 9 mm … five or six shots," he said. "Then all of a sudden all you can hear was police."
At the corner of Kalanianaole Highway and Ainakoa Avenue, he said he saw a pickup raised up on two wheels, pinned between a van and a police car. The man, who appeared to be about 18 years old, lay on the ground, with a firearm off to the side, he said.
It appeared the man was wounded in the leg and placed on a stretcher, he said.
Macadangdang said four officers who were involved in the incident will be placed on administration leave, as is standard procedure, while police investigate.