The 26-year-old man shot dead by police at a busy intersection near the Mililani Walmart was a shoplifting suspect, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said at a news conference this afternoon.
Ballard defended the decision of three plainclothes officers with the Crime Reduction Unit in unmarked cars to stop the suspect at a busy intersection in a residential neighborhood.
“If the driver of the car — the suspect— had just listened to the orders of the officer, there would have been no danger,” she said.
The officers happened to be at the Walmart investigating another case when they heard the description of the suspect, and went after a man they thought matched the description.
The three stopped him in the pickup truck he was driving, boxing him in with their unmarked vehicles at the intersection of Aniani Drive and Lanikuhana Avenue, but the suspect struck two of the vehicles trying to escape and nearly hit one of the officers, according to police.
Two of the officers fired their weapons and struck the 26-year-old, killing him at the scene.
The pickup truck he had been driving continued down the road and crashed into a tree, critically injuring both passengers, a man and a woman.
The two remain hospitalized in critical, but stable condition, Ballard said today.
The chief said police are “reasonably certain” that the man who was shot was the shoplifting suspect.
Police have opened a first-degree attempted murder case, third-degree theft, and an unattended death case as well as a major motor vehicle collision.