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Man shot after trying to attack officer with knife in Waipahu

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Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, at a news conference this morning at HPD headquarters, said a man allegedly lunged at a police officer twice with a knife at a Waipahu apartment complex on Friday.

A 55-year-old Waipahu man shot dead by a Honolulu police officer Friday night was involved in a more than six-hour standoff with police at the Leolua Regent apartment complex in September.

Renie Cablay was on leave from his job as an adult corrections officer at Oahu Community Correctional Center at the time of the earlier incident, when he was arrested on suspicion of terroristic threatening for allegedly rushing a neighbor with a machete.

This time, Cablay was armed with a large knife and lunged twice at a patrol officer before he was shot in his second-floor apartment, said Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard during a news conference Saturday at police headquarters.

As of press time, police had not released the names of the dead man or the police officer, but Kevin Cablay, who identified himself as Cablay’s son in a message posted on Stolen Stuff Hawaii’s Facebook page in response to a video post of the shooting, said his father had “very bad paranoia and a lot of psychological issues within the past two years and he literally cannot control.”

“We have tried to get him help over the years but it has been a very difficult journey for him,” Cablay wrote. “For him, being alive was being miserable and even though I wish it didn’t end this way, I know he’s in a better place now. Rest in peace dad … I love you.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was unable to contact Kevin Cablay for further comment Saturday.

Ballard said the patrol officer was responding at 9:10 p.m. Friday to a report of a driver fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle collision at the Leolua Regent, located at 94-099 Waipahu St., where Renie Cablay owns a unit, according to city property tax records. The officer identified the suspect in the collision and located him in a courtyard, she said.

The officer ordered him to stop but the suspect “continued to walk away before suddenly turning and lunging toward him while holding a large knife, nearly striking the officer,” Ballard said.

The officer backed away, drew his firearm and ordered the suspect to put the knife down, she said. Instead, the man fled to his second-floor apartment and refused to come out.

The officer, fearing that others might be in the apartment, entered the unit, Ballard said. The man “again lunged at the officer at close range” and the officer fired three shots, striking the suspect in his head and chest.

No one else was in the apartment.

Because the circumstances required immediate action and were based on police policies and procedures, “the officer had a right to go in, fearing for somebody else’s safety,” Ballard said.

Police said the suspect had no convictions but did have numerous temporary restraining orders against him.

The police officer involved in the shooting is a 5 1/2-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department assigned to the Pearl City district. He was not injured.

The officer was placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in such cases. HPD’s Professional Standards Office is also investigating the shooting.

Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro also was at the Waipahu scene, Ballard said.

Last year the Legislature passed a bill that set up a committee under the Department of the Attorney General to investigate such incidents. The panel, however, has not yet convened.

“We want the public to be confident in the fact that our officers are doing the right thing,” Ballard said.

Honolulu police do not yet have body-worn cameras to document their encounters with the public, although HPD did complete a pilot program.

“We’re expecting a rollout around the end of the summer,” Ballard said.

“This is a reminder, too, for the officers and also for the public that sometimes a seemingly innocent, very routine type of case can turn into a deadly incident,” she said. “People think it’s just a routine, day-to-day case. There are no routine cases for the officers on the road.”

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