Video: Hawaii Police Officer's Holstered TASER Stops Suspect's Bullet

Sept. 26, 2023
A suspect in a domestic disturbance was fatally shot when he opened fire on Hawaii police during a foot chase in Kea'au, and one of his shots struck an officer's TASER in its holster.

A Hawaii police officer escaped injury when gunfire struck his holstered TASER during a shootout that left a suspect dead over the weekend.

At around 11:45 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a domestic disturbance between two brothers at home in Kea'au, the department stated in a news release. One of the brothers, who was armed with a handgun, fled on foot when police arrived, and officers couldn't locate him.

The 30-year-old suspect was found to have an outstanding bench warrant, and police continued a search for him.

The next day, police were tipped off to the suspect's possible location at a home in another Kea'au subdivision. When they reached the scene, officers ordered the man to exit the house and surrender.

Instead, the suspect escaped out of the back of the house and fled into a heavily wooded vacant lot with police in pursuit. Officers ordered the suspect to stop, but he turned and opened fire.

Taking cover behind brush, the officers ordered the suspect to surrender again, and again, the suspect began shooting. This time, officers returned fire, and the suspect was struck in the exchange.

Police performed lifesaving measures on the suspect, but he died at the scene. The shooting is under investigation, and the department released body camera footage Monday.

Although no one else was injured in the incident, one officer thought he had been struck by a bullet directly or by a ricochet during the shootout, Big Island Video News reports. But investigators believe the officer felt the impact from a shot hitting the officer's TASER in its holster.

"From our estimation, had (the suspect's) bullet struck just a few inches away, it could easily have gravely wounded, or even killed, the officer," the department stated in a release.

“This incident demonstrates once again how quickly an encounter with a suspect can put our officers’ lives in jeopardy," Robert Cavaco, the president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, said in a statement. "We are thankful that our officer who took gunfire from this suspect is safe, and we commend the bravery and selflessness shown by our Puna police officers. They represent the very best in public service. We all would have liked this incident to have ended differently, unfortunately, this suspect tried to kill a police officer instead of turning himself in and availing himself of the legal process.”

About the Author

Joe Vince

Joining Endeavor Business Media in 2018, Joe has worked on the company's city services publications. He began working at OFFICER.com as the assistant editor. Before starting at Endeavor, Joe had worked for a variety of print and online news outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, the South Bend Tribune, Reddit and Patch.com.

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