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

Lake Country Food Bank welcomes wheelbarrow load of donations

Rotary Club presents symbolic cheque for the $24,600 raised since August 2018

Vernon family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Colouring book will feature images of Summerland

Project is a joint initiative of Summerland Museum and Summerland Community Arts Council

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Vernon politician questions if response to COVID-19 worse than virus

Precautions make sense but destroying economy in process doesn’t, says Coun. Scott Anderson

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

92-year-old Vernon woman crochets 1,000 toques for donation

Daisy Ferguson has been working on the toque project for the past six years

COVID-19: ‘Think before you click,’ north Okanagan city says

City of Armstrong urges residents stay safe online as phone, email scams on rise amid pandemic

Most Read