Hundreds turned out Tuesday for a candlelight vigil for fallen Honolulu police officer Tiffany Enriquez, bringing an emotional end to a day that was as much about celebrating lives as it was confirming losses.
Enriquez was fatally shot Sunday along with Honolulu police officer Kaulike Kalama at a Diamond Head home where a handyman is alleged to also have killed his landlady, attacked another resident in the home and started a fire that ultimately consumed seven homes and also likely caused his death.
But the officers won’t be the only losses to come out of Sunday’s chaos. Investigators increased the count of confirmed fatalities in the Sunday incident to four on Tuesday when they found two sets of remains at 3015 Hibiscus Drive, a home that belonged to 77-year-old Lois Cain, a retired librarian. They spent most of the early morning and afternoon sifting through a foot-deep layer of ashes.
>> Photo Gallery: Candlelight vigil held for HPD officer Tiffany Enriquez
While identifications have not been made, one set of remains is expected to be Cain’s and the other that of her tenant, the suspected gunman, Jerry “Jarda” Hanel, 69. At a Sunday news conference, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard had reported that three people, including Hanel, and two women were missing. On Monday, Cain’s friend Janice Morrow, who was originally presumed missing, was located by police.
Jackie Mesngon, a close friend of the 38-year-old Enriquez, said she was aware of the latest developments in the case, but emphasized that Tuesday’s vigil at Kaimana Beach in Waikiki was about honoring an unforgettable woman and trying to move forward. Enriquez’s district was Waikiki.
“There’s seven steps of grieving — you are mad, you are hurt, all of those things. But if it was Tiff, she would want us to forgive and move on and just be strong throughout this whole thing, no matter how angry we are, right, at this person taking her life,” Mesngon said through her tears. “But we’re firm believers in Christ, and we believe everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for us all. And now she’s just another angel in heaven watching us. We have to embrace that.”
John Enriquez, Tiffany Enriquez’s ex-husband, said she always focused on the positive and would have wanted others to do the same.
“She was very happy. She was very energetic and she never wanted negativity. She would want us to celebrate life and celebrate being better people — and we should be better people,” John Enriquez said.
Enriquez’s boyfriend, Honolulu police officer Jonathan Daniel Baba, said the seven-year-veteran of HPD was an outstanding cop as well as a loving family woman. She was the mother of three daughters and had one grandson, with a second grandchild on the way.
Funeral services for Enriquez still are pending as they are for Kalama, 34, who had nine years on the force. Kalama leaves behind a wife, a 14-year-old son and many other mourners. One of them, Ikaika DeCota, stopped Tuesday at the growing memorial for Enriquez and Kalama that is outside the Waikiki police substation.
“I’ve known him since middle school, and I played football with him at McKinley High School. He was a good football player and friend,” DeCota said. “He was just a likable person. I got arrested and he had to book me, but I don’t hold it against him. Even though he was an officer and I broke the law, we were still friends.”
The community as a whole is remembering the fallen officers, too. Mayor Kirk Caldwell has requested Honolulu Hale to be illuminated in the color blue from Tuesday until Sunday in honor and memory of the fallen officers. A ceremony presenting memorial wreaths in their honor will be held at 8:30 a.m today at the eternal flame fronting Honolulu Hale.
Meanwhile, investigators continue trying to piece together Sunday’s incident. Hanel is alleged to have opened fire on police, fatally shooting Enriquez and Kalama, who were responding to a 911 call about an altercation at the property. It’s not known what prompted the attack, but Cain filed eviction papers Thursday against Hanel, who neighbors said lived at the property for 15 years or more.
According to court documents, Hanel did not not have a rental agreement or ownership interests in the property and despite “repeated demands” had “failed and refused to vacate the property.”
Stephany Sofos, a real estate analyst who knew Cain, said she’d advised the retired librarian to tread carefully in her eviction of Hanel.
“I told her he’d be homeless and he’d get desperate. He didn’t have any friends, a job or a car,” Sofos said. “Besides, he’d told me before that he’d never leave the home or the Gold Coast.”
Sofos said the relationship between Cain and Hanel was like parent and child, and that she stubbornly turned a blind eye to neighbors’ complaints about him. Sofos said that at one time Hanel had been a popular member of the neighborhood, but over time relationships had soured and multiple neighbors had filed temporary restraining orders against him.
“He changed, especially after his dog died some months ago. He became more isolated and seemed depressed,” Sofos said. “He got into a fight with Lois because he wanted her to pay $50,000 to clone his dog. After his dog died, he also was upset that she wouldn’t let him get another dog.”
It was Sunday morning when neighbors told police that Hanel allegedly had attacked Gisela King, another tenant in the Hibiscus Drive house, with a three-pronged garden implement. The neighbors said they intervened, and King was taken to The Queen’s Medical Center. King told the neighbors that Cain was in Hanel’s basement apartment and in danger. Jennifer Tema, one of the neighborhood good Samaritans, said she went to the door of Hanel’s apartment and heard a violent altercation within.
“I heard him beating, bludgeoning someone who I thought was Lois (Cain),” Tema told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Monday.
Shortly afterward, witnesses said, shots rang out, and the two Honolulu police officers were struck. Then, fire broke out in the house and quickly spread through the historic neighborhood.
Sofos, who was walking her dogs past Cain’s home when the incident unfolded, said she took cover across the street behind another neighbor’s wall. She said she watched as police dealt with the gunfire and the death of their own. Later she reported hearing popping sounds as if ammunition was in the house.
Police have said Hanel wasn’t a registered firearm owner. But Morrow told the Star-Advertiser on Tuesday that Cain had kept a storage locker filled with guns belonging to her deceased husband, Raymond Cain, under her bed upstairs in the house. Morrow said she didn’t know whether they were present Sunday.
Investigators still haven’t confirmed the cause of the fire, which has left the neighborhood looking like a war zone. The smell of smoke still lingered in the air Tuesday.
Star-Advertiser reporters Mindy Pennybacker, Tim Hurley, Leila Fujimori and Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.