HONOLULU (NewsNation Now) — Honolulu police body camera footage released Friday of a man’s fatal shooting shows three gunshots rang out before an officer says, “police.”
Police released two brief clips from the shooting that killed Lindani Myeni, 29, Honolulu on Wednesday night.
Myeni had entered a home, sat down and took off his shoes, prompting the scared occupants to dial the police, Chief Susan Ballard said Thursday.
The footage revealed that the first officer on scene ordered the suspect to stop and get on the ground. The suspect then turned and charged the first officer, punching him several times.
“Officer Two tried to get the suspect off Officer One,” Ballard continued. “Officer Three then arrived on scene, deployed his taser, but it was ineffective.”
The suspect then charged at Officer Three and punched him before running and charging at Officer One again.
“Officer One then fired a single round, but the suspect continued and tackled Officer One, straddling him and began punching Officer One again,” Ballard said.
The second officer then reportedly fired three rounds at the suspect and the suspect fell to the ground.
“This all happened in less than one minute from Officer One’s arrival,” Ballard said.
In one clip of the dark footage, what sounds like a distraught woman outside a house tells an officer, “that’s him.” The officer yells repeatedly for Myeni to get on the ground.
Shots ring out and then after a pause, an officer said, “police.”
Acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata on Friday acknowledged officers didn’t identify themselves before shooting. But he said it was clear they were police, even in the dark.
“Hey, let’s be honest, they’re in uniform. … They’re coming there with the police cars and they told him get on the ground, comply,” Nagata said.
Myeni had assaulted the officers, punching one of them until the officer briefly lost consciousness, Nagata said.
“They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away,” he said. “This was not a case of overreaction.”
The three officers were responding to a burglary in progress, involving a report of a man inside a house and a distraught woman, Nagata said about why the first officer ordered Myeni onto the ground.
“We don’t know if he has weapons in his waistband or in his pockets,” Nagata said.
One officer deployed a stun gun, which didn’t seem to have an effect on Myeni. It looked like one the probes struck Myeni but he kept fighting, Nagata said.
The officers were brave, Nagata said. “I’m proud because they were in a fight for their lives,” he said. “I would have been shivering if I responded to that.”
One officer who suffered facial fractures and a concussion remained hospitalized, Nagata said.
The attorney for Myeni’s family said the story police are telling does not align with the type of man he was.
The attorney described Myeni as a good man and said he and his wife met while she was on a mission in Africa. They said they have no idea why he was even at the scene.
Myeni suffered apparent gunshot wounds and was taken to a medical center in critical condition, where he succumbed to his injuries and died.
All three officers involved in the shooting were treated for their injuries. One officer remains in the hospital with multiple facial fractures, a concussion and injuries to the arms and legs.
Honolulu police have opened an attempted murder investigation.
This was the second time this year that police shot and killed someone. Last week, police shot and killed a 16-year-old boy during a car chase. Iremamber Sykap was driving a stolen car that was linked to a burglary, purse snatching, car theft and an armed robbery, Ballard said.
Police have yet to release body camera footage from the April 5 shooting. Ballard, who recently announced she will retire June 1 after receiving a critical performance review from the police commission, has said the department is still reviewing footage from 50 body cameras.
NewsNation affiliate KHON and The Associated Press contributed to this report