An eviction set off a tragic string of events in Honolulu Sunday morning that left at least three people — two of them police officers — dead and at least five homes completely destroyed by fire.
A third police officer and the landlord were injured. At least seven other homes and several vehicles in the affluent neighborhood near the base of Diamond Head were affected by the fire, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.
Hawaii News Now said police were called to the home at about 9:30 a.m. because of a stabbing. The officers were met by gunfire, and two of them were critically wounded and taken to Queen’s Medical Center, where they died.
Within 15 minutes of the shooting, the house was on fire, quickly spreading to nearby homes. Vehicles parked on the street, including a Honolulu police vehicle, also caught fire.
The view from above showed multiple homes and vehicles destroyed or heavily damaged in the fire that sources believe was deliberately set after a deadly shooting that left 2 Honolulu police officers dead.Video from: Erid CeballosLATEST: https://bit.ly/38n5gVU #HINews #HNN
Posted by Hawaii News Now on Sunday, January 19, 2020
Sources identified the suspect as Jerry Hanel to Hawaii News Now and said that he is believed to be dead, likely in the fire. Authorities also said they believe Hanel started the fire after the shooting.
The landlord was rushed to a hospital; her condition was not immediately known. The condition of the injured police officer was also unknown.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said the incident was “an unprecedented tragedy” for both Honolulu and the state.
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two officers as well as the entire Honolulu Police Department. This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai’i.
— Kirk Caldwell (@MayorKirkHNL) January 19, 2020
Witnesses said they saw first responders carrying wounded officers from inside the home in the wake of the shooting and administer CPR to one of them. They said one of the slain officers was a woman.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard was on scene at the hospital and was seen comforting officers there, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
By early afternoon, firefighters appeared to have gained control of the blazes, but earlier, both flames and heavy black smoke were visible for miles, pouring off the spot just blocks from the ocean.
The City and County of Honolulu opened its Emergency Operations Center to provide support for first responders and to assist with those whose homes were affected by the fires, the Star Advertiser said.
This story is developing. CrimeOnline will update it as more information becomes available.
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