Gunman kills two Hawaii police officers, dies in house fire

Smoke billowing from a fire at Kapiolani Park where a shooting incident occurred before a house was set on fire, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Jan 19, 2020.
Smoke billowing from a fire at Kapiolani Park where a shooting incident occurred before a house was set on fire, in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Jan 19, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONOLULU (NYTIMES) - A disgruntled tenant facing eviction opened fire on the police Sunday (Jan 19), killing two officers and setting fire to the bungalow where he had been staying, officials said.

The blaze spread to six other nearby homes that were destroyed, the authorities said. 

The violent outburst in Honolulu started when the gunman stabbed his landlord in the leg – she was in serious condition – and three other people were left unaccounted for, including the suspect, said Susan Ballard, the Honolulu police chief, during a news conference Sunday night. 

Ballard identified the two officers who were killed as Tiffany-Victoria Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama, who she said were seven- and nine-year veterans of the police force. 

She did not give ages for the officers, who she said were both parents and were the first Honolulu police officers to die in the line of duty since 2012.

Both officers were wearing bulletproof vests, she said. 

“They were like my kids,” Ballard said, struggling to find words to describe the losses. 

Ballard identified the suspect as Jaroslav Hanel, 69, and said he started shooting at the officers who responded to a 911 call at 9am on Hibiscus Drive, which is less than 5km from Oahu’s famed Waikiki Beach. 

Hanel, who also goes by the first name, Jerry, was not accounted for, as was the case with two unidentified women who were inside the home where the fire started, the authorities said.

It was not immediately clear if the women were tenants or what their relationship was to Hanel or to the landlord he injured, identified as Lois Cane. 

In addition to the six other homes that were destroyed, several other houses were damaged by fire and smoke, fire officials said. 

Kirk Caldwell, the mayor of Honolulu, said at the news conference that the loss of Officers Enriquez and Kalama was deeply painful.  “This is a family and people are grieving,” Caldwell said. “Every day, men and women in blue get up in the morning and put on their uniforms and go to work.”

A lawyer for Hanel confirmed that his client was being evicted from the home at 3015 Hibiscus Drive by the homeowner, who he said was moving back to 
Hawaii from the mainland United States. 

 
 
 
https://twitter.com/sotiridi/status/1219003289431367680