HPD officer cleared in fatal shooting in Waianae
A 15-year police veteran was justified in shooting a Waianae man who repeatedly fired a shotgun in his neighborhood and threatened to fire at residents and police, city prosecutors said yesterday.
Tracy Peters of Waianae refused to disarm himself despite repeated demands by police over a loudspeaker, resulting in him being shot to death by a police marksman, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors announced yesterday that they will not pursue criminal charges against officer Wayne Silva, who fired two shots at Peters, striking him in the stomach, then in the head during a 1-1/2-hour-long standoff on Kaukama Road in Waianae.
"At the end, he pointed the handgun at officer Silva and told them if they didn't shoot him, he would shoot police and at that point, he was within 25 to 30 yards from the officer," said acting Honolulu Prosecutor Franklin Pacarro.
"Officer Silva was left with no alternative but shoot Mr. Peters," he said.
What caused Peters, a felon whose 23 criminal convictions, included a robbery conviction in a 1977 murder, to go on the rampage is unknown, but an autopsy later determined that he had both methamphetamine and marijuana in his system.
Police later recovered a glass pipe with methamphetamine and a packet of methamphetamine in his car.
Peters' family members could not be reached for comment.
The city prosecutor's decision is consistent with the findings of a separate administrative investigation by Honolulu police that resulted in no disciplinary action being taken against the officer, said police spokeswoman Michelle Yu.
"It's sad that someone died, but our officer responded as he was trained to do," Yu said.
Silva, a marksman with the Specialized Services Division, was placed on leave -- a standard procedure following any shooting involving an officer, but he has since returned to full duty, Yu said.
Police were initially called to the Kaukama Road neighborhood about 6:45 p.m. May 16 by residents reporting a male yelling and firing shotgun rounds from his car.
Police set up a perimeter around Peters who advanced on their position twice and fired at least seven shots from the shotgun while they were there, Pacarro said. Two of the shots struck a police patrol car, ricocheted and struck officer Corinne Rivera in the arm.
After emptying the shotgun, Peters pointed two .38-caliber handguns at the nearby homes -- the closest was 10 yards away -- before pointing the handguns at Silva and the rest of the officers, Pacarro said.
Fearing for his safety and the safety of the other officers, Silva fired the shots from about 30 yards away, he said.
After the shooting, family members indicated Peters was having family problems and he had warned them that he was going to do something drastic.
Peters' family members were at the scene during the standoff but were kept back by police because of concerns for their safety and as standard procedure.