A drug suspect inside a McCully high-rise was shot and killed by a police officer Thursday night after refusing the officer’s order to put down his loaded Glock pistol, according to the Honolulu Police Department.

The shooting at Century Center, 1750 Kalakaua Ave., occurred as members of HPD’s Specialized Services Division attempted to serve a search warrant.

“Officers entered the unit, and immediately observed a bedroom door that was locked,” Police Chief Susan Ballard said Friday. “The officers were forced to break down the door and observed a male with a handgun. Despite repeated commands to drop the weapon the suspect did not comply.”

Honolulu Police Dept Chief Susan Ballard during stolen subsidized HPD vehicle press conference.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said the man was fatally shot after ignoring repeated commands to drop his weapon.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

An officer with 13 years’ experience on the force shot the man, 55, who was taken to a local hospital and later died. Two other men, 34 and 62, were arrested and charged with third-degree promoting a dangerous drug.

The man shot by police was not the registered owner of the firearm and it had not been reported stolen, Ballard said, adding police will be speaking to the gun’s owner.

Unlike many large mainland police departments, the HPD does not release the name of residents hurt or killed during an arrest or standoff or the identity of officers who fire weapons. The police agency relies on a policy that officers are, first, city employees, and therefore, their names are protected until an investigation is completed.

Ballard said she did not know what type of drugs were being sought in the search, and search warrant documents were not made available by the courts or the department. She did confirm some drugs were retrieved from the apartment, but had not been tested.

When officers entered the apartment building, none was wearing a body camera, a new acquisition this year by the department.

They have not been issued body wear cameras,” Ballard said.

This is the HPD’s fourth officer-involved fatal shooting since June.

On June 1, 55-year-old Renie Cablay, a former correctional officer, was fatally shot by an officer after he was involved in a six-hour standoff at the Leolua Regent apartment complex in Waipahu. Cablay was armed with a large knife and lunged twice at the patrol officer before he was shot in the doorway of his second-story apartment, police said.

On June 24, Steven Hyer Jr,  32-year-old, was shot and killed by an officer after he began stabbing a police dog with an arrow after a seven-hour standoff.

In late July, Gavalynn Mahuka, a 53-year-old convicted felon armed with a sawed-off shotgun was shot and killed by an officer following a seven-hour standoff that started when officers tried to serve a protective order at the man’s Nanakuli home.

Officer-involved shootings like this one are now reviewed both internally by the department and by a new state Law Enforcement Officer Independent Review Board. However, the board is so new it is not known yet what type of findings it will deliver and whether it will make any part of it public.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can comment directly on this story by scrolling down a little further. We are enabling comments on some stories in the spirit of having a robust community conversation.

Will you help us?

There are upsides to being a nonprofit as we carry out our public-service mission. We don’t have a paywall on our site, charge a subscription fee, or clutter our articles with ads. But this also means that reader support sustains every aspect of what we do. Without you, we don’t exist. It’s as simple as that. By donating, you’re supporting everyone on staff—and allowing unbiased, investigative journalism to thrive. If you value our work, will you make a tax-deductible donation today?

About the Author