This undated photo provided by the Honolulu Police Department shows Officers Tiffany Enriquez, left, and Kaulike Kalama. Enriquez and Kalama were killed Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, while responding to a call. (Courtesy of Honolulu Police Department via AP)

Shooting kills 2 officers before Hawaii homes catch fire

The man at the centre of the conflict was being evicted, authorities say

A Hawaii man with a history of run-ins with police and neighbours was facing eviction when he stabbed his landlord and killed two officers before the house he and two women were believed to be in burned, authorities and neighbours said Sunday.

Police responding to a call for help found a woman who had been stabbed in the leg and resident Jaroslav “Jerry” Hanel, in his 60s, opened fire, killing Officers Tiffany Enriquez, a seven-year veteran, and Kaulike Kalama, a nine-year veteran, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said. Police suspect he and two women were inside the house when it caught fire, and Ballard said it could take days for authorities to process evidence and recover any remains.

The fire spread to several other residences, destroying seven homes and leaving multiple others with fire or smoke damage, according to Honolulu fire officials.

The homeowner, Lois Cain, had recently sought to have Hanel evicted, court records showed. A neighbour told The Associated Press she saw Cain being loaded into an ambulance with knife wounds.

Cain’s condition was not immediately confirmed, nor was the suspect’s. Ballard said Hanel did not have any gun permits.

The normally peaceful neighbourhood where shots were fired is at the far end of the Waikiki Beach between the Honolulu Zoo and the famed Diamond Head State Monument, a volcanic crater that looms above Honolulu and is popular with tourists and hikers. A regional park is also nearby.

Ian Felix, a Honolulu resident and combat veteran with medical training, told the AP he happened to be walking by when he saw a woman lying on the ground with a pool of blood coming from her leg. He applied pressure until the first police officer arrived and put a tourniquet on it, Felix said. Moments later two more officers arrived, and Felix said he then heard two gunshots.

He and the officer picked up the wounded woman and carried her into a neighbour’s garage across the street, he said.

Neighbours described Hanel as mentally disturbed.

“Defendant does NOT have a Rental Agreement to occupy the premises and Defendant has no ownership interest in said premises,” read a complaint for eviction that Cain filed last week in court. “Despite repeated demands, Defendant has failed and refused to vacate the premises.”

Attorney Jonathan Burge has represented Hanel since 2015 in various disputes with neighbours, including temporary restraining orders that three obtained against him. Hanel, a native of the Czech Republic who used Czech interpreters in court, faced a hearing next week on a charge of misusing 911 services, Burge said Sunday.

Burge said he never knew Hanel to be violent, but that “he’s kind of a quirky guy and had problems.” Hanel believed the government was watching him and tapping his phone, Burge said.

“Maybe that’s what set him off,” he said of the eviction.

Hanel lived for free at the home in exchange for handyman work, Burge said. Cain was supportive of him in his disputes with the neighbours, Burge said, but their relationship had soured lately because Hanel’s dog had died and Cain wouldn’t let him get a new one.

Nearby resident Dolores Sandvold said she heard screaming and gunshots and saw Cain being carried to an ambulance.

Kailua resident John Farmer said the fire spread to his sister’s nearby house, which burned down. He said the resident has been described as paranoid and threatening.

Officials across the state began releasing statements mourning the lost lives, with Gov. David Ige saying, “Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning.”

Police closed several streets nearby and asked the public to avoid the area.

Honolulu City Councilmember Tommy Waters, who represents East Honolulu and is the chairman of the City Council Public Safety Committee, said he was heartbroken by the attack.

“I am disturbed by the initial reports that the gunman was a troubled individual who terrorized the Diamond Head neighbourhood where this tragedy unfolded,” Waters said.

ALSO READ: How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Caleb Jones, Jennifer Kelleher And Marco Garcia, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Grand Forks distillery shifts to make sanitizer

How a Grand Forks distillery is stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic

Apartments evacuated during police stand-off

The incident occurred at Grand Forks apartment building on March 28

Grand Forks and Boundary cancellations, changes due to COVID-19

This newspaper’s list of community events, institutions that change or cancel due to pandemic

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

COVID-19 case confirmed at restaurant in Cache Creek: Interior Health

Customers who visited the site from March 25 to 27 are asked to self-isolate

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Quarantined B.C. mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Surrey’s Christine Williams shares family’s challenges, strengths

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Most Read