A 16-year-old boy is dead and other suspects injured after Honolulu police officers pursued and shot at their vehicle on Monday, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., District 7 patrol officers located a white Honda Civic that was reported stolen from Kailua on Saturday, Ballard said during an evening press conference.

The same vehicle was linked to a car theft in Kaimuki, a purse snatching in Waikiki and, about 20 minutes before the incident with police, an armed robbery in a Moiliili residence where victims reported two guns were used, according to Ballard.

EMS and HPD assist with suspect along Kalakaua Avenue after 16-year-old driver was shot and killed by police.
Three Honolulu police officers were involved in the incident. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

Officers found the vehicle as it left Kawaikui Beach Park and sped westbound down Kalanianaole Highway, the H1 freeway and Kapiolani Blvd., the chief said. The vehicle then drove into oncoming traffic before being blocked in by officers near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Philip Street, according to Ballard.

“We believe that the vehicle rammed two marked police cars and crashed through a chainlink fence and went into the Kalakaua canal,” she said. “During this time, officers fired multiple shots at the vehicle.”

She later clarified that “the shots were fired prior to the car going into the canal.”

Ballard didn’t say why the officers shot at the vehicle.

“That’s still under investigation,” she said. “We’re taking a look at it.”

Some of the occupants of the car then ran from the canal and were chased by the officers on foot, she said.

The 16-year-old driver of the vehicle was treated for injuries at the scene and was transported in critical condition but died at the hospital, Ballard said. An 18-year-old was seriously injured, she added.

Three Officers Involved On Administrative Leave

Four other individuals – ages 14, 16, 17 and 22 – were involved, Ballard said. One was taken to the hospital for “non-life-threatening injuries that were consistent with a motor vehicle collision,” she said. Three others were taken into custody.

HPD arrest a robbery suspect near Kalakaua Avenue.
HPD arrested a suspect on Kalakaua Avenue. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The chief said the 22-year-old has prior convictions for vehicle break-ins, theft and harassment.

She said the department has launched investigations into alleged vehicle break-ins and the attempted first-degree murder of police.

The three officers who discharged their firearms are assigned to District 7 and have 10 years, five years and three years of service with HPD, Ballard said. They will all be put on three days of administrative leave, “as is standard procedure in these types of cases,” Ballard said.

No weapons were recovered from the teens’ vehicle, Ballard said. A search warrant will be needed to “search the rest of the car,” she said.

“We’re still trying to locate the firearms that might possibly have been used,” she said.

Ballard said the investigation is “very preliminary” and that officials haven’t yet uploaded or viewed body-worn camera footage from the incident.

She said the officers were still very shaken up. “We’re still trying to get statements, and also walking the scene.”

The number of people shot and killed by Honolulu police officers has been increasing in recent years, according to the department’s use of force report.

In 2019, the most recent year data is available, eight people were killed by HPD officers.

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