WAILUKU >> Maui police officers were justified in the deadly shooting of a man who was wanted on an attempted-murder warrant, an official said.
Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu told The Maui News that 26-year-old Kaulana “Toji” Reinhardt appeared to be complying with officers’ orders before he reached for a handgun and was shot Dec. 23 in a Wailuku neighborhood.
Reinhardt had been struggling with an officer and was hit as gunshots were exchanged, police said. Officers began efforts to revive him until an ambulance arrived. He died at nearby Maui Memorial Medical Center.
The number of shots fired during the exchange is still under investigation.
Police had been searching for Reinhardt, who was wanted on several arrest warrants including first- degree attempted murder and probation violations.
Police had been tipped off by confidential informants and others close to Reinhardt that he “was carrying a gun and he was going to shoot it out with the police if he was ever stopped,” said Clyde Holokai, an acting assistant chief.
“There was no real winner in this situation,” he said.
Police pursued Reinhardt after he was spotted driving a stolen red pickup truck. The truck collided with another vehicle during the chase but kept going.
Reinhardt later crashed in the front yard of a house near Iao Intermediate School, where the shooting occurred. The pursuit lasted about 12 minutes, said Ricky Uedoi, an acting assistant chief. One officer sustained minor injuries.
Two officers were placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in police shootings.
“Any time there is a loss of life, it is a tragedy, and the Maui Police Department takes it seriously,” Faaumu said. “Our heartfelt condolences to all of those affected by the incident.”