Police officers fatally shot a man who allegedly lunged at them with a knife in the parking lot of the Dillingham Plaza early Thursday morning.

This officer-involved shooting was the 10th on Oahu in 2018 in what Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard called a disturbing trend. Five of those shootings have been fatal.

“The officers are doing what they can,” Ballard said. “They can’t wait. If they don’t react, it could be too late. And the officer’s life could be taken.”

The man, who police did not identify other than to say he was in his 40s, died at a hospital Thursday morning.

None of the officers nor anyone else were injured, Ballard said. She declined to release the names of the officers.

Honolulu Police Dept Chief Susan Ballard discusses shooting today that happened at Foodland.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said at a press conference Thursday that the fatal shooting of a man after he lunged at officers with a knife was the 10th officer-inv0lved shooting this year. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

There is an active investigation regarding the shooting, police said.

Officers responded shortly after midnight on Thursday to a call involving stolen alcohol from a Kalihi convenience store — what officers call a “beer run.”

Ballard said police found a man matching the robbery suspect’s description in the parking lot of the Dillingham Foodland. He was holding a bottle of alcohol and a hunting knife with a 7-inch blade, she said.

Officers ordered the suspect to drop the knife, but he refused and instead lunged at them, Ballard said. One officer fired his electric stun gun at the suspect, but that was ineffective, Ballard said.

Two other officers then fired about 10 to 11 shots at the man, hitting him in the torso and right leg. Police said he was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where he died.

Ballard said the man was about 7 feet away from the officers. Both officers who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative leave.

None of the officers was wearing body cameras; however, the stun gun did have a camera.

The department may release the tape in about a week if the department can determine that it is not “extremely important to the investigation,” Ballard said.

“If it is not directly affecting the investigation, we will be releasing that tape,” Ballard said.

This officer shooting is the second in about a week.

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

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

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.

You can also comment directly on this story by scrolling down a little further. Comments are subject to approval and we may not publish every one.

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author