Honolulu police, responding to a dropped 3:10 a.m. 911 call, fatally shot a 43-year-old man in the back yard of his home in Waipahu on Saturday.
Police Chief Louis Kealoha said arriving officers saw the man with a 12-foot metal pole with a six-inch blade attached to it threatening a family member in the back of the home at 94-962 Hiapo Street.
"The male, who witnesses say suffers from a mental disorder, had threatened a family member with the long blade," Kealoha said. "The male refused the officers’ repeated orders to put the long blade down. Instead the male began advancing toward the officers while making cutting motions.
"One of the officers deployed his electric gun but it was ineffective, and the male continued his advance, A second officer fired multiple shots fatally striking the male several times."
The dead man’s youngest brother, who declined to give his name, said his brother called police for help, but officers responded with "excessive" force.
He said his brother did suffer from mental illness, but said it was under control and he did not have a history of violence.
The youngest brother lives in Kapolei and was not at his family’s Waipahu home during the shooting. He said another brother and their parents were home at the time of the shooting.
Police used a Tazer on his brother and then shot him five times, he said. He was not sure exactly why his brother called police.
Kealoha said four Honolulu Police Department officers have been placed on administrative leave and criminal and administrative investigations have been opened following the incident.
Police Maj. Richard Robinson said responding officers knew that there had been a previous call to the residence in November, at which time the man shot Saturday morning was voluntarily transported to the hospital. He also said a family member at the scene told responding officers that the man had a mental disorder.
"Every scene we try to do everything we can to protect everyone’s safety," Robinson said. "This situation developed very rapidly, it’s a relatively small, enclosed space (back there), and as the chief had stated, the male was armed with a 12-foot long steel pole with a six-inch sharpened blade on the end of it."
Robinson said the weapon the man was using is similar to devices used to pick mangoes, but with the blade facing straight forward instead of sideways.
The officers who responded work out of the Pearl City station and have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in a shooting.
An officer with 19 years of experience fired the Tazer, and an officer with five years of experience was the only officer who fired his gun, police said. The two other responding officers have 20 and 13 years with the department.
Paramedics said the man was dead when they arrived, according to an Emergency Medical Services report.
The man had no prior criminal history, police said.