Stolen van fleeing police disrupts traffic
The driver of a stolen van rammed through two townbound lanes of traffic on Kalanianaole Highway near Kalani High School trying to flee from police officers, one of whom fired her weapon during the chase yesterday afternoon.
The van's occupants were eventually caught and arrested.
The van was in the center of three lanes and "created its own path" -- striking 14 vehicles, including a motorcycle -- near the Waialae entrance to the H-1 freeway, said Lt. Robert Cravalho of Honolulu Police Department's Internal Affairs.
A police officer with 22 years of service fired her weapon, he said. There was a bullet hole in the driver's side door of the green Plymouth Voyager minivan.
Police said some civilians who knew the van was stolen had reported it to police and had been following it from the Hawaii Kai area.
The van got caught up in traffic at about 4:25 p.m., a few hundred feet from the Ainakoa Avenue intersection.
Police officers arrived and tried to approach the suspect on foot. The van driver tried to flee by smashing through the cars.
The officer fired her handgun at some point, but Cravalho said he could not comment on the details of the shooting since it is under investigation.
The driver exited the van and, while fleeing makai across the highway toward Waieli Street, fell and was caught by police.
He was arrested on suspicion of one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder for the alleged attempt on the officer's life, one count of auto theft, and 13 counts of first-degree criminal property damage.
A passenger in the van ran mauka on Ainakoa Avenue and was arrested near Star of the Sea church on suspicion of detaining stolen property.
The officer was placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice when an officer discharges a weapon.
Police said no one was injured in the shooting. One person was taken by ambulance to a hospital, but was not seriously injured, police said.
HPD Homicide Detail, Internal Affairs and Traffic Division investigated the accident, causing a major backup of rush-hour traffic in both directions due to lane closures and rubbernecking.