UPDATED 11/09/11 1:00 p.m.

Editor’s note: The article below was first published on Monday, Nov. 7. It accurately reported that a knife was found at the scene of the McDonald’s shooting. But the allegation that the knife may have been used to threaten the agent charged in the case has now been rescinded by the source of the claim, The Hawaii Reporter. Police confirm that a knife was found at the scene, but declined to comment publicly on whether it was used to threaten the agent. The Hawaii Reporter has removed references to a threat from its story and published the following: “Editor’s Note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that Elderts threatened Deedy with a knife.”

New reports about the fatal shooting of a Kailua man by a federal agent in town for APEC indicate the victim may have had a knife that he used to threaten the officer.

The federal agent — 27-year-old Christopher Deedy who is with the U.S. State Department — has been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the early Saturday morning shooting at the McDonald’s in Waikiki. He posted $250,000 bail and was released Monday. His initial court appearance has been set for Nov. 17 — a few days after the APEC summit that brought him to Hawaii wraps up.

Dead is 23-year-old Kollin Elderts of Kailua. The medical examiner’s office said he died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

UPDATED Michael Green, an attorney hired by Elderts’ family, said earlier reports that there had been an altercation at a nighclub were inaccurate. He also said a knife was recovered at the scene but that police don’t think it has “anything to do with the offense.”

“You got a law enforcement officer, a federal officer. If there was any issue with justification or self-defense, then they wouldn’t have arrested him and set bail at $250,000,” Green told Civil Beat Monday night. “There’s witnesses up the gazoo at McDonald’s and there’s a security camera. So forget about the knife.”

But a story in the Hawaii Reporter said Deedy and his friends told police that Elderts was threatening him with a knife and the shooting was in self defense.

Both the Honolulu Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office declined to answer questions about the case, saying it was an ongoing investigation.

Green, however, told Civil Beat that it was unlikely police would have handled the case the way they did if they believed the shooting was self defense.

“The thing that was shocking to me was how quickly they charged him,” Green said. “This guy is no threat to flee. He’s a federal agent. He had a right to have a gun. … The police were, I’m sure, very confident when they charged the case that they had the crime.”

Green said Elderts had been drinking with friends before going to McDonald’s, where he got into an argument with Deedy. It escalated, and Deedy fired three shots, according to Green: One into the ceiling, one into the wall and one that struck and killed Elderts.

“Alcohol had a lot to do with this thing,” he said.

Green said he’s representing Elderts’ estate as well as his parents, and plans to sue Deedy. He could also file suit against the federal government if it’s determined that Deedy was on duty at the time or otherwise acting in some sort of official capacity.

A State Department spokeswoman said Deedy is in Hawaii “on State Department business to support protection of dignitaries for APEC.” He has been placed on administrative leave.

So far, law enforcement officials have been mum when asked for details about the incident.

Dave Koga, spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office, said some details would have been revealed Monday in a motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause, known as a JDPC. That request outlines the basic elements of a case and, if accepted by the court, enables law enforcement to detain a suspect until they make their initial appearance.

It’s a public document, and though one was prepared for Deedy, it wasn’t filed because Deedy posted bail early Monday morning. Keeping him detained is now a moot point, Koga said.

“If he had not gotten bailed out, then he would have made initial appearance this morning,” Koga said.

Deedy’s initial appearance was been pushed back from Monday to Nov. 17. Some details about the case will become public at that time, but that’s a few days after APEC wraps up, and after the glare of the international media spotlight subsides.

Koga said that when suspects post bail, their initial appearances are usually pushed back two days. That would be Wednesday. It’s not clear why there’a 10-day gap in this particular case.

Koga said initial appearance dates are set by the police and the courts.

Adrienne LaFrance and Nanea Kalani contributed to this report.

About the Author