A 48-year-old man was shot multiple times by Honolulu police officers after police said he charged at them with a knife near Ala Moana Center on Monday night.

The incident began shortly after 10:30 p.m. at the intersection of Kona Iki and Kona streets where a 30-year-old man reported that the other man had threatened him with a knife, according to the Honolulu Police Department.

Officers arrived on scene and told the older man to drop the knife, but he refused and charged at the officers, according to police.

Honolulu Police Department HPD Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic speaks to media about last night's officer involved shooting near Ala Moana.
Honolulu Police Department Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic speaks to media about Monday night’s officer involved shooting near Ala Moana. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

“Initially as the officers were talking to him for a brief period of time, he had the knife in his right hand down by his side,” HPD Interim Chief Rade Vanic said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “But when he ran towards them, he raised the knife above his head and rushed towards them with knife in his hand.”

Vanic said that officers did not use tasers but began deploying a “less-than-lethal” device that was ultimately not used because the incident happened so quickly.

The two officers, who had one and two years of service with HPD, then opened fire and struck the man multiple times, according to Vanic, who added that a 31-year-old female security guard was also struck by a stray bullet that “ricocheted off another object.”

The man suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Vanic said the security guard’s injury was “very superficial” and she was treated on the scene by paramedics.

HPD has since opened an attempted murder and terroristic threatening investigation into the incident, but have not arrested the man.

Vanic said the department is still determining whether body cam footage taken at the scene will be released to the public.

“Once we determine that it won’t jeopardize either our investigation or our ability to properly prosecute this case, then we will be releasing it,” Vanic said.

Following the incident, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers released a statement in support of the officers.

“To protect themselves and the public, Honolulu police officers are required to make split-second decisions based on the totality of circumstances they confront when responding to armed suspects,” SHOPO President Robert Cavaco said in the statement. “Last night our officers responded to a report of a man stabbing another man near the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Upon arriving at the scene, the responding officers were confronted by an armed suspect. The suspect failed to comply with lawful verbal commands and then charged the officers while armed with the knife, forcing the officers to discharge their firearms, striking the suspect. The suspect is currently in custody and thankfully all of our officers involved are unharmed, safe, and went home at the end of their shifts to their families.”

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