VIDEO: Langford Family Seeks Answers in Wake of Fatal Shooting

May 29, 2012, 4:38 PM HST · Updated May 29, 5:39 PM
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Genevieve Langford, the mother of the Maui man fatally wounded last week holds back tears during an interview with family members. To the right is Marshall Langford's wife, Shelly Kekahuna. Pictured in the background is Marshall's brother, Marcus. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Today marked the one week anniversary of a fatal police-involved shooting in South Maui that claimed the life of Maui resident Marshall Langford.

Today, family members gathered on the grounds of the Maui Police Department’s Forensic Facility in Wailuku where his remains are being held during the investigation.

“Today makes seven days already,” said Langford’s mom, Genevieve Langford.  “All I’ve seen was the newspaper with him lying on the ground–that’s all I’ve seen.  When I saw him in the morgue, it was not nice to see him there. As a mother, I want to hold him, and it’s hard,” she said as she fought back tears.

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“They denied her (Langford’s mom) the right to hold her son; and they’re still holding his body right now,” said Shelly Kekahuna, Langford’s wife of 17 years.  To date, family members say they were only allowed to view the body from behind a glass window.

“They still haven’t released him to us.  We still can’t hold him,” said Kekahuna whose family had hoped to get Langford’s body released for a planned June 15th memorial service from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Ballard Family Mortuary.

Police say the Langford family has been in contact with the Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division to make arrangements.

Langford was fatally shot on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, when police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle at the parking lot of the Mana Kai Resort.

When officers arrived, authorities say they found Langford in the vehicle. Police say the suspect attempted to flee the scene, and while doing so, allegedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at an officer. The officer responded, police say, by firing his weapon.

The account has been disputed by family members who maintain that the gun was not within reach.  They are hoping that surveillance or eye-witness accounts will help to answer lingering questions.

Lt. Wayne Ibarra from the Maui Police Department’s Communications Division today confirmed that there was surveillance tape recovered from the incident.  He said the tape was submitted as evidence and the investigation is still in its early stages.

“If the gun was within reach, why in the newspaper can you see the trunk and the license plate, and how the gun is unwrapped on there (the trunk),” said Kekahuna.  “The other gun that they show in the picture, there is no color of the seat; it’s on a manila envelope,” she said.

Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta today released a statement saying:

“We continue to investigate the facts and circumstances of our department’s use of deadly force in this matter, but of parallel concern is for the welfare of my officer, whom I fully support and believe that his actions of discharging his service firearm that led to the death of Marshall Langford was necessary and appropriate, and there has yet to be any data or evidence to suggest otherwise.”

The family meantime, maintains that police could have handled the situation in a different manner that could have saved Langford’s life.

“He’s in heaven right now, and it’s okay; but it’s how the situation is and how justice was not really done…  They could have at least had a negotiator, or even taser him, or even shoot the tires, but they went straight for his head–and that’s what I disagree on.  They could have done it in a better manner in a situation where it could have saved his life and not have him dismissed from my family,” said Langford’s mom.

Kekahuna described her husband as “a good person who just made bad choices.”  She said, “He was still a father; he was still a son; he was still a husband; he was still a nephew, a brother, a cousin, a friend, and a loved one to each and every one of us.”

Langford’s sister Malia Kinoshita described her brother as “humble and spiritual.”  “My brother wasn’t a bad person at all–he wasn’t; he was just stuck in his disease of addiction,” said Kinoshita.

She said all the family wants is peace and to know that something will be done.

“Justice needs to be done,” said Langford’s mom.

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