2 police officers killed in Hawaii shooting

HONOLULU (NYTIMES) – Two police officers in Honolulu were shot and killed after a gunman opened fire on Sunday (Jan 19) afternoon, officials said.

The Honolulu mayor’s office confirmed the two fatalities and issued a statement on Twitter offering “deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two officers as well as the entire Honolulu Police Department”.

A police spokesman, John McCarthy, did not offer additional details about what led to the shooting.

A resident, Patricia Cooper, 71, said police had ordered her and her family to evacuate after the gunman set the house she was in on fire and the blaze spread to two other houses.

“Right now there’s only one house separating us from the fire, so we were told to evacuate,” she said. “They can’t let the fire trucks in because of an active shooter situation, so that’s kind of where we are now.”

Cooper said she was not sure if police had anybody in custody.

She described the neighbourhood as a quiet, friendly and relatively affluent place across the street from a beach that is a popular surfing spot.

At around 9.30am local time, Jason Bajor, 40, said he was out for a walk when a “massive number” of police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances drove by him and toward the home he was renting for a couple of weeks.

As he got closer, he saw a swarm of police officers with their guns drawn, telling onlookers to move away.

People were standing in the nearby park and others were standing on roofs trying to see what was happening, he said.

Bajor said he noticed dark smoke coming from the house around 9.45am and then he heard more gunshots, which sounded like ammunition going off inside the house.

“When the smoke from the house got darker, the fear started to kick in,” Bajor said. “We went back to our house where we were staying, gathered our stuff and left the neighbourhood.”

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