Tragedy erupted in paradise Sunday as two police officers were killed in an incident in which a woman was stabbed and multiple people remain missing after a fire destroyed seven homes near Honolulu’s Diamond Head landmark.
Police said the incident began with the attempted eviction of Jaroslav “Jerry” Hanel, 69, who is suspected of killing the officers and starting the fire that burned down his home and adjacent ones.
Authorities believe Hanel died in the fire, but his remains have yet to be found in the ruins of the home he was in, police said, according to KHNL.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said that officers Tiffany-Victoria Enriquez, who had been on the force for seven years, and Kaulike Kalama, who had been on the force for nine years, were killed.
Our Thoughts & Prayers goes to our Blue Family of @honolulupolice ! Officer Tiffany Enriquez & Officer Kaulike Kalama is Never Forgotten!#HONOLULU #HONOLULUPOLICE #HI #HAWAII #EOW #LODD #ENDOFWATCH #NEVERFORGOTTEN #HPD #OFFICER #RIP #HERO #OFFICERDOWN #INTHELINEOFDUTY pic.twitter.com/Z8O94oQ1J1
— Americasupportslawenforcement (@Americasupport2) January 20, 2020
“On behalf of the men and women of the Honolulu Police Department, our deepest condolences go out to the families. The HPD ohana grieve along with you,” Ballard said.
She said the slain officers “were like my kids. They were with me for five years at receiving desk when I was major there. So when they first came into the department up until I made chief, I knew them personally.”
In an emotional press conference just minutes ago, Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard confirmed the identities of the two officers who were killed in the line of duty on Sunday morning as Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama. https://t.co/KmOtzzCFXh pic.twitter.com/b3rnnJbYCw
— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) January 20, 2020
“This is a family and people are grieving,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.
The incident began at about 9 a.m. Sunday with the report of a stabbing.
Bystander Ian Felix said he was in the area at the time.
The woman who was stabbed “was screaming, she was like ‘Get me out of here,’” Felix said. She was reportedly the landlord who had tried to deliver an eviction notice to Hanel.
“She was really scared of what happened to her because of that person. The escalation went from a stab wound to a fire and then the two officers. It’s really sad,” he said. The woman was reported in serious condition with a stab wound to the leg.
When Enriquez and Kalama arrived, Hanel fired at them from his driveway, Ballard said.
Ballard said Enriquez was shot first as she and two other officers approached the house. She said as the first group of officers took cover, a second group arrived. Kalama was in the second group, Ballard said, according to USA Today.
Ballard said Hanel did not have a permit to own a gun.
Both of the slain officers were wearing bulletproof vests, Ballard said.
Hanel then retreated into his home, which soon after was set on fire. The fire then spread, destroying seven homes and damaging others.
“We will continue to search for Hanel until we confirm that his remains are recovered,” Ballard said.
Update on Hawaii shooting:
–“suspect was being evicted and allegedly stabbed his landlord”
–“suspect apparently set fire to the home”
–“police on scene don’t appear to be actively looking for a suspect”
–2 officers killed. pic.twitter.com/WMk1W7AKqG
— ?FNR- FRUM NEWS REPORT? (@FrumNewsReport) January 19, 2020
“It was just a tragic unfolding of events,” said resident Eric Crispin, who was at a nearby condo when the fires erupted, according to Hawaii News Now. “The fire just raged and spread.”
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