Honolulu police shot and critically wounded a 27-year-old man who pulled out a handgun and pointed it at officers who were trying to arrest him in connection with two outstanding felony warrants.
Dion Vincent Kitzmiller remains hospitalized and in addition to the two outstanding warrants was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, three counts of criminal property damage in the first degree, and two firearm offenses.
Plain clothes District 1 Crime Reduction Unit officers wearing bullet proof vests with “Police” written across the front and back located the suspect along with two other passengers sitting in a parked jeep at about 11:30 pm. on Hikina Lane in Kalihi, said acting Chief Rade Vanic. As officers approached the vehicle, and ordered the suspect driver out, the the jeep drove out of the parking stall and struck four parked cars.
After the vehicle stopped, a man in the front seat ran out of the car while a woman remained in the back seat.
Officers approached the vehicle again and ordered the driver out. When the 27-year-old man started to get out of the car, he brandished a handgun and pointed it at the officers, Vanic said.
A CRU officer with 12 years of service fired several shots into the car and hit the man in his upper body. Officers pulled the man out of the car and administered first aid until Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived on scene. The entire confrontation lasted 30 seconds to a minute, Vanic said.
“The officers did react as they were trained to do so,” said Vanic. “They reacted to the threat presented them at the time.”
Per department policy, the officer who fired his weapon is on administrative leave while the shooting is under review. HPD does not release the names of officers involved in shootings.
The 27-year-old man has eight prior convictions including six felonies for robbery, theft and drug offenses. He was wanted on two separate $50,000 warrants for abuse of a household member, terroristic threatening and firearm offenses, Vanic said.
Police said the man’s name will be released when he is booked. Plain clothes Honolulu police officers are not issued body worn cameras. Police recovered a firearm from the Jeep and surveillance video from a nearby business. Any incoming 911 calls and surveillance video will not be released to the public, Vanic said.
“We are looking at including plain clothes officers in future deployments of body worn cameras,” Vanic said.
HPD is entering the fourth year of a five year contract signed in 2017 that ensures patrol officers and traffic division officers are issued body worn cameras.
EMS treated the man at the scene. It’s not immediately known how many gunshot wounds he sustained.
He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and remains hospitalized.
Neither the officers nor the two passengers in the Jeep were injured. The passengers were interviewed as witnesses and released.
Evelyn Gabaon, 54, who lives in an apartment on Hikina Lane said she was inside her unit when she heard five gunshots sometime between 11:25 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. “It was pretty loud,” she said.
Gabaon left her unit and observed a sport utility vehicle, possibly a Jeep Cherokee, that crashed further down the narrow roadway. It was pretty mangled and appeared to be stuck, she said.
Witnesses said the man was in the SUV when police shot him from the passenger side window.
The man, described possibly in his mid-20s to early 30s, sustained at least one gunshot wound to the shoulder and was conscious when paramedics treated him, Gabaon said.
“Our street was filled with police. It was chaos out here. It was like in a movie,” she added.
Gabaon also observed investigators recover a firearm.
Police towed a light-colored Jeep SUV with damage to the front passenger side of the vehicle and extensive damage to the rear driver side.
Resident Clayrissa Souza, 23, was in her apartment with her son in another residential building when she heard loud screeching noises as if someone was about to race off. “Then all I heard was crash, crash, crash,” she said.
Souza had a feeling her car parked nearby got hit so she ran outside. “I just had the worst feeling so I came outside to check and then I just saw a whole swarm of people. And then I heard gunshots so I just ran back in the house and locked my doors and turned off the lights,” she said.
Her parked gray Honda sustained major damage to the front driver’s side as well as damage to the rear when the Honda was pushed into a van parked behind her in the crash.
Another sedan parked across Souza’s vehicle also sustained significant front-end damage.
The police investigation is ongoing. This is the third officer involved shooting of 2021.