The investigation into Sunday’s fatal shooting of two Honolulu police officers and massive fire continued Monday as shellshocked residents tried to pick up the pieces of their lives in a Diamond Head neighborhood that looked like a bomb had been dropped on it.
But conditions of the charred house at 3015 Hibiscus Drive, where 69-year-old suspect Jerry “Jarda” Hanel allegedly attacked his landlord, Lois Cain, were too hot and unstable to allow investigators to search for victims of the ordeal.
For now the active search for missing Hanel and Cain continues, according to police, while another person initially thought to be in the house was located Monday safe and sound.
Still another tenant, whom Hanel allegedly attacked with a three-pronged garden hoe, was released Monday from The Queen’s Medical Center.
Meanwhile, police and members of the public continued to grieve for the slain officers, seven-year veteran Tiffany Enriquez and nine-year veteran Kaulike Kalama.
A memorial of flowers and lei honoring the fallen officers graced Honolulu Police Department headquarters Monday, and Gov. David Ige ordered the U.S. and Hawaii flags to be flown at half-staff at the state Capitol and all state offices and agencies as well as the Hawaii National Guard until sunset Friday.
It was shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday when police responded to a call for help at the Hibiscus Drive residence. After first attending to the tenant who was attacked by Hanel, Enriquez and two other officers approached the house. That’s when Enriquez was shot and killed. Kalama was gunned down when a second group of officers arrived.
Police say it appears the shooter was Hanel, a man who repeatedly clashed with neighbors and was said to have a history of mental instability. At least four neighbors had obtained temporary restraining orders against him, according to court records.
>> Sunday’s blog of Hibiscus Drive shooting and fire: http://bit.ly/2sJTypq
>> Photo Gallery: More images from the fatal Diamond Head shooting
>> Photo Gallery: Memorial grows for fallen HPD officers as fire damage becomes clearer
Hanel is also believed to have started the fire that grew in intensity during the standoff and spread to neighboring homes. Authorities moved with caution as the fire appeared to set off a cache of ammunition and the safety of first responders was paramount.
There was plenty of drama before police showed up as neighbors tried to intervene after hearing screams of help from the home.
The dispute may have been related to Cain’s efforts to evict Hanel from the home where he was living rent-free in exchange for maintenance work.
In interviews with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, two women said they heard terrible screams from the house and then found Hanel beating an upstairs tenant, Gisela Ricardi King, with a garden hoe.
Neighbors were able to stop the attack, they said, but they also believe Hanel was beating Cain inside the home.
Next-door neighbors Ellen Farmer Freeman and her husband, Russel Freeman, were having coffee when they heard screaming and ran down Cain’s driveway to see what was going on. They found Hanel beating King. Ellen Freeman said she made eye contact with Hanel and asked him to stop.
“I said ‘Jarda,’ and he threw the hoe on the driveway and started punching Gisela (King) some more,” Freeman said.
After fellow Hibiscus Drive neighbor Jennifer Tema joined the fray, King was able to escape from Hanel’s clutches.
“I saw Jarda walk back into his area (in a basement-level apartment),” Freeman said.
With King’s leg bleeding badly, leaving her unable to walk, she pleaded with her neighbors to warn her son and his father, who were inside the Cain house, to send them to safety. The father ended up taking the boy across the street.
Tema said a passer-by, Ian Felix, also helped get King to safety.
“He helped me carry Gisela up the driveway and put on a tourniquet,” said Tema.
King told the neighbors that homeowner Cain was in Hanel’s apartment and in danger.
“She said, ‘Quick, Jarda’s going to kill Lois!’ So I ran back down,” Tema said.
When she got to Hanel’s door, Hanel and Cain were not visible, but she could hear the violent altercation within. “I heard him beating, bludgeoning someone who I thought was Lois,” Tema said.
Tema said she begged Hanel to let Cain go.
“I told him, ‘Gisela’s OK, she’ll live. All you have to do is let Lois go,’” she said. He didn’t respond.
A few minutes later, when shots rang out, Tema tried to run back to her house, but the police pulled her into cover.
Witnesses said they saw the officers being hit with gunfire. Freeman said her husband saw one of the officers “go flying back” with the impact of being shot.
After the officers were shot, Cain’s house went up in flames.
The Freemans’ home was also destroyed in the fire. Tema’s home across the street was spared.
Police said late Sunday that two women and Hanel were missing after the massive fire, but HPD confirmed Monday that one of the women was located and is safe.
The missing woman who was later found had been staying at Cain’s house the last three weeks but had left the house for a yoga class 30 minutes before the rampage occurred.
Jonathan Burge, Hanel’s attorney, said Monday that Cain’s sister called him to say Cain was not taken to the hospital as some neighbors had said Sunday and that she was still missing.
“She (the sister) said Lois isn’t the one in the hospital,” Burge said. “(The police) can’t contact her. So they say she’s missing, and they are presuming she was in the fire.”
John Farmer, who grew up on Hibiscus Drive where his sister Ellen Freeman and her husband lived in the family home until yesterday, said his family had known and warned Cain about Hanel for the 15 years Hanel was Cain’s tenant.
“He was a sick guy,” Farmer said of Hanel.
On Monday neighbors described the charred and heavily secured crime scene as a war zone. Police were letting only residents beyond the cordoned area.
A number of G0FundMe pages have been established to raise money for the victims of the fire.
They include one for Racheal and Adam Patterson and their five children, who lost their home and all their belongings while they were at church Sunday.
”(Racheal Patterson’s) friends have scrambled together some clothing and some immediate necessities to help them, however they will need to replace everything they lost,” wrote friend Yumi Sakuma Seavey.
Another GoFundMe page was raising funds for Caleb and Sage Gaudian and their baby, Summer, who were traveling on an airplane home when their house was burned to the ground. “They lost literally everything,” the page said.