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City prosecutor clears 2 HPD officers in fatal shooting of machete-wielding man

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    This surveillance footage shows the confrontation between Honolulu police officers and suspect Elia S. Laeli, 41, on Aug. 11, 2021.

Two Honolulu police officers under investigation for the shooting death of a machete-wielding man have been cleared of wrongdoing.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said during a news conference this morning that the use of deadly force resulting in the death of Elia S. Laeli, 41, was justified, and no charges will be filed against the two officers.

According to Honolulu Police Department reports, the officers responded to an assault call at about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 11 in the 1300 block of North School Street. At the scene, officers were confronted by Laeli, who was armed with a machete and had reportedly severed a man’s pinkie finger with the large blade.

Laeli ignored the officer’s commands to drop the machete, and instead “rushed toward” one officer. Two officers then fired several shots, hitting the suspect, according to an account of the incident provided by interim Police Chief Rade Vanic two days after the incident.

Laeli was taken in critical condition to a hospital where he died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Officer-Involved Shooting R… by Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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