Authorities and neighbors say a Hawaii man with a history of run-ins with police and neighbors was facing eviction when he stabbed his landlord and killed two officers before the house he and two women were believed to be in caught fire.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said Sunday that police found a woman who had been stabbed in the leg and resident Jaroslav “Jerry” Hanel opened fire, killing Officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama.
The officers were responding to the home for an assault call in the neighborhood at the base of the famed Diamond Head crater.
Court records say the landlord, Lois Cain, had recently sought to have Hanel evicted.
Authorities say they suspect the shooter was inside the home when it burned. The flames spread to nearby homes before the fire was extinguished. Honolulu fire said five homes were “complete losses.”
The neighborhood is in an area that would be packed with tourists and locals, especially on a weekend.
The neighborhood where the shooting occurred is at the far end of the Waikiki Beach between the Honolulu Zoo and the famed Diamond Head State Monument.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige tweeted condolences after the two police officers died in the shooting in Honolulu, saying "let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy."
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also shared condolences on Twitter saying, "This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai’i."
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard was choking back tears at a news conference Sunday afternoon, The Star-Advertiser reported. “The HPD ohana grieves along with you and shares your loss,” she said.
Ballard identified the suspect, who's presumed dead, and said two women were “unaccounted for” after the massive fire that destroyed at least seven homes and damaged several others. Both women were known to be residents of homes that burned.
The officers were shot outside the home after responding to a woman’s call for help, Ballard said. The woman who made the initial call was taken to a hospital with stab wounds to her leg, she said.
Honolulu City Council members were making statements on the officers killed.
Councilwoman Kymberly Pine was quoted as saying in a statement she released, “My prayers and thoughts are with the families of the Honolulu Police Department officers who were killed and all who were injured during the Diamond Head incident today.”
Fellow-Council member Tommy Waters also said, “I’m deeply saddened by the loss of two of our officers and I pray that no other officers are hurt.”
Gunshots can be heard and flames can be seen as officers respond in this raw footage the Star-Advertiser posted.
Police were seen surrounding the house in Honolulu where the shooting suspect was believed to be at.
Local TV station Hawaii News Now was broadcasting the situation live on Facebook.
Diamond Head or Lē‘ahi is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu that sits near the eastern edge of Waikiki’s coastline. The crater was formed about 300,000 years ago during an explosive eruption, according to the State Parks Division.
The division also says that it's Hawaii’s most recognized landmark, known for hiking, its coastal views and military history. Diamond Head State Monument encompasses nearly 500 acres, including the interior and outer slopes of the crater.
Tweets and other social media posts showed that rising smoke could be seen on the skyline in the area Sunday morning.
The neighborhood has multi-million-dollar homes.