Hawaii mourns 2 officers killed by Honolulu gunman in fiery tragedy

Authorities in Hawaii were sifting through the debris of burned-out homes Monday, looking for the body of the man who fatally shot two police officers in a chaotic scene in a Honolulu neighborhood.

Officers responding to a stabbing at the home in Waikiki Beach were aiding the victim when police say resident Jarolsav Hanel opened fire, killing one of the officers. One of a group of officers who rushed to the wounded officer’s aid also was killed by gunfire, police said.

Moments later, the home was engulfed in a fire that also destroyed seven homes before it was doused.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said investigators suspect Hanel and two women were inside the house when it burned, igniting numerous homes around it. It could take days for authorities to process evidence and recover any remains, Ballard said.

The officers who died were Tiffany Enriquez, a seven-year veteran who was the first officer shot, and Kaulike Kalama, a nine-year police veteran. Ballard said she had worked closely with the two officers for five years before being named chief.

“They were like my kids,” she said. “When they first came into the department up until I made chief, I knew them personally.”

Honolulu police gather near the scene of a shooting near Diamond Head State Monument on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photo: Marco Garcia, AP)

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the entire state mourns them.

“As we express our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy,” Ige said on Twitter. 

Enriquez, who was from Guam, leaves behind three daughters and a grandson. Long-time friend Kiko Cruz-Santos said he’s known her since they attended high school together. Cruz-Santos said Enriquez expressed interest in joining the Honolulu Police Department eight years ago and got in on the first try.

“The whole time I’ve known her to be determined and dedicated to whatever she put her mind to,” he said.

Unprecedented tragedy’: Gunman kills 2, sets fire that destroys 7 homes

Enriquez was also a member of the Air Force Reserves and was a bodybuilder. But family was always her priority, Cruz-Santos said.

“She loved her kids more than anything and wanted to be a good role model for them,” he said. “Her determination was one thing, but her dedication to her family and friends was what made her who she was.”

Hanel was living in the home of Lois Cain, according to court documents. Cain recently sought to have Hanel evicted, and a neighbor said she saw Cain being loaded into an ambulance on Sunday with knife wounds.

Jonathan Burge, Hanel’s attorney since 2015, said Hanel had lived in Cain’s home free of charge in exchange for handyman work. Burge also said three of Hanel’s neighbors had obtained temporary restraining orders against him. 

Hanel had mental issues and believed the government was watching him and tapping his phone, Burge said.

“This is shocking,” he said. “I didn’t think he was capable of such extreme violence.”

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