Details Released in Deadly Keōpūolani Shootout
By Wendy Osher
One man is dead following a shootout with police reported shortly before 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2015 at Keōpūolani Park in Wailuku.
Maui police have since identified the deceased man as a 39-year old African American male with no local address, but have not released his name pending notification of next of kin.
Police were initially called to the scene to respond to a complaint about suspicious activity at around 8:50 p.m. Police say the initial call to the Maui Police Department’s Central Dispatch revealed the caller was approached by an unknown male who was wearing, what appeared to be, a Law Enforcement type badge and who claimed to be a Law Enforcement Officer. During their contact, the caller became suspicious of the male and called for police assistance, according to Maui Police Lieutenant William Juan.
At around 8:54 p.m., two patrol officers reportedly arrived on scene within Keōpūolani Park and made contact with the suspicious adult male. Upon arrival, police say officers approached a male individual, who upon speaking with police became agitated and confrontational, removed a small caliber handgun from his waistband turned and began firing in the direction of the officers, according to police reports.
Maui police lieutenant William Juan said officers returned fire, striking the male individual.
During the exchange of gunfire, police say the male “positioned himself towards the front of the officer’s patrol vehicle while the two officers sought cover behind the same patrol vehicle. A third officer arrived shortly thereafter and engaged the male suspect with gunfire,” according to a department press release.
“Once the male suspect was incapacitated, the officers started to immediately administer life-saving efforts,” said Lt. Juan in a department press release. He said medics arrived at the scene and continued life-saving medical treatment; however, the male suspect eventually died at the scene.
Witnesses say they heard multiple gunshots and report that the incident occurred within the park interior.
Police say numerous shell casings were recovered at the scene; however, the exact amount of rounds fired by all involved is unknown at this time.
The patrol officers involved in this incident are a 7-year veteran, a 4-year veteran, and a 1-year veteran of the Maui Police Department, and each has been placed on administrative leave as standard department procedure. Their return to duty has not been determined at this time.
Police say one officer sustained minor injuries, while the other two were uninjured.
An autopsy is scheduled for later today on the deceased gunman.
The investigation into this incident is on going. Police plan to hold a press conference tomorrow to address the investigation further.
***Check back here for a full report and video from the press conference.