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Police: Bar shooting involving off-duty officer ‘accidental’

    Honolulu police investigate a shooting at the Kings Sports Bar in Makiki early Friday morning.
    A shooting at the King's Sports Bar in Makiki seriously injured a 40-year-old woman.

An off-duty officer was involved in an early morning shooting Friday in lower Makiki, which sent a bar worker to the hospital with a stomach wound.

Police said the gun “accidentally discharged” in the bar.

Paramedics treated a 40-year-old woman at King’s Sports Bar, formerly Debbie’s Place, at 1283 S. King Street, for a gunshot wound at 1:50 a.m. and took her in serious condition to the hospital.

Deputy Police Chief Dave Kajihiro, at a news conference, said both criminal and internal investigations have been started against the 25-year-veteran officer, a sergeant who is assigned to the Chinatown district.

The officer faces a possible second-degree assault charge and anything from a written reprimand to expulsion from the police force, depending on the outcome of the Professional Standards Office investigation.

The officer was not arrested. His police powers have been restricted, Kajihiro said.

Kajihiro said investigators are trying to determine if the weapon fired belonged to the officer.

Kajihiro would not say if the officer was drinking with fellow officers or who made the emergency 911 call to report the incident.

Kajihiro said police are allowed to carry their firearms even when they are off-duty, but are not supposed to carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.

Kajihiro said the officer and the bar worker who was shot were friends.

Tenari Ma’afala, the leader of Hawaii’s police union, and high-ranking officers were at the scene of the shooting Friday morning.

However, Ma’afala told reporters that he was there not as head of the police officer’s union, but in his official capacity, which is to offer assistance to police officers, like the off-duty police involved in Friday’s incident.

A woman, who said she worked in the bar’s kitchen, said she believed the shooting was an “accident.”

A neighbor who lives in a second-floor apartment across the parking lot from the South King Street bar said he woken up “by a loud bang” and screaming by a woman.

There were two accidental shootings involving Honolulu police last year.

In August, an accidental shooting killed a 39-year-old Honolulu police officer.

The officer, Jens Magelssen, was showing his handgun to a friend during a barbeque at his home on Sierra Drive on Aug. 16, when it accidentally discharged, witnesses said.

Magelssen died at the Queen’s Medical Center on Aug. 18.

On Sept. 6, an officer accidentally discharged his weapon in the bathroom stall of a store. No one was injured.

Kajihiro said following the store incident all officers had to undergo a firearm safety orientation in the use and handling of the HPD-issued Glock 17.

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