Two police officers were shot and killed by a suspect when they responded to a call for a woman who needed help at a home in Waikiki Sunday, according to Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard.
Ballard announced during a press conference Sunday night that the two officers, Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, were shot and killed by suspect Jerry Hanel when they responded to a woman who had been stabbed at a residence around 9 a.m. local time.
The officer to arrive found the victim and, shortly after, two other officers came upon the scene. When all three were walking down the driveway of the home, Hanel allegedly shot at them, Ballard said.
Enriquez, a 7-year veteran with the department, was wounded by the initial gunfire, Ballard said.
Additional officers arrived on scene and Hanel allegedly shot at that group, striking Kalama, a 9-year veteran on the force, according to Ballard.
As more officers were called in, “thick black smoke” began to pour out of the home, Ballard explained.
The fire engulfed several homes, “totally destroying” at least seven houses and causing damage to many others, Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves said at the press conference.
Although the fire has been completely extinguished, it will take several days to process the scene, which includes removing the remains of three people who are unaccounted for should their bodies be found, Ballard said.
The three people unaccounted for are the suspect and two adult females, according to Ballard.
Police are still looking for the suspect
Police are still searching for Hanel and will not stop until they find him, although that may be when a body recovered from the fire scene is confirmed to be his, Ballard explained.
Honolulu Police have opened an investigation into two counts of first degree murder, one count of second degree assault and multiple accounts of first degree attempted murder against Hanel, Ballard said.
Hanel is believed to be in his 60’s, according to Ballard.
A witness carried the stabbing victim to an ambulance
Ian Felix, a witness, told CNN affiliate Hawaii News Now he recalled seeing a woman bleeding near the house where the shooting occurred as he walked with his mother.
“She was screaming,” Felix said of the injured woman who was bleeding from her leg.
Felix said he helped perform first aid on the woman until an officer arrived and put a tourniquet on her leg.
Two female officers then arrived, he said.
After hearing gunshots, Felix said he and another person carried the injured woman across the street into the garage of another home and then later to an ambulance.
Felix said he believes one of the female officers was fatally shot.
“I’m really sorry it happened,” Felix said.
Governor: ‘Our entire state mourns’ the slain officers
Earlier, FBI Honolulu Operational Support Technician Derek Hayes told CNN the FBI was responding to an “active shooter” in Honolulu. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the active shooter situation, the agency said on Twitter.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Hawaii Gov. David Ige mourned the slain officers on Twitter.
“This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai’i,” Caldwell wrote.
In a statement, Ige said the state is grieving.
“Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning. As we express our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy,” the statement said.