CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Honolulu police Capt. Frank Fujii spoke with reporters Wednesday at the Pearlridge Center parking structure, where a suspect was fatally shot by a police officer. The shooting occurred at Pearlridge East, across Pali Momi Street from Pearlridge Downtown.
Man killed by police was a felon
The Pearlridge auto-theft suspect faced trial over 2007 break-in; also had a substance-abuse history
STORY SUMMARY »
The man gunned down by police after an alleged car break-in at Pearlridge Center had been arrested last July in another break-in case.
Thomas Joseph Loewe was scheduled for a jury trial on April 28. He was accused of break-in and drug charges.
Police continue their internal investigation into Wednesday's shooting. Loewe was allegedly seen breaking into a vehicle that afternoon at Pearlridge Center.
Police said Loewe attempted to escape and rammed a police car before being shot by a police officer. Two officers were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
FULL STORY »
A jury trial was scheduled for next month to determine whether Thomas Loewe was guilty of car break-in and drug charges.
He died after police shot him Wednesday at a garage at Pearlridge.
The 47-year-old Hawaii-born convicted felon was shot dead by police Wednesday in an alleged attempted car break-in at the Pearlridge Center.
Loewe had 18 state convictions going back to 1978, including two auto theft felonies in 1994. He admitted a history of drug and alcohol abuse starting when he was 17 years old, court records show.
Detectives are continuing their dual investigation into Wednesday's incident. One is an attempted-murder case against Loewe; the other, an internal investigation into the shooting.
Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, plainclothes officers from police Crime Reduction Units saw Loewe driving in a suspicious manner and followed him to the second floor of a parking garage above Denny's Restaurant at Pearlridge Center.
Police attempted to make an arrest after they saw Loewe allegedly break into a vehicle. Loewe returned to his car and attempted to drive away, dragging one officer on the driver's side and nearly hitting another officer.
Loewe allegedly rammed a police car blocking the area, and a fourth officer shot the man. Police spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii said the car Loewe was in was not stolen.
An autopsy showed that Loewe died of gunshot wounds to the torso. The city Medical Examiner's Office did not release how many gunshot wounds Loewe had. Police Chief Boisse Correa has said an estimated five shots were fired.
The officer who pulled the trigger, a 15-year veteran of the department, has been placed on administrative leave pending the internal inquiry. Two officers were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Loewe was arrested July 21 after he was caught allegedly breaking into two vehicles.
Police received a call that day about a suspicious man tampering with vehicles along Beach Road. Loewe was pulled over on Diamond Head Road and arrested on a $650 traffic warrant.
Witnesses saw him allegedly break into two vehicles in the Diamond Head area and take property, including a man's identification. He also was allegedly found with crystal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
He was charged with two counts of unauthorized entry into a vehicle, identity theft, promoting dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of burglary tools.
He posted $25,000 bail on Aug. 3. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was scheduled for a jury trial April 28.
He had been convicted of two counts of auto theft in January 1994 and was sentenced to five years' probation.
Other convictions included family abuse, fraudulent use of license plates, resisting an order to stop, misdemeanor criminal property damage and harassment, a petty misdemeanor.
Loewe spent 95 days in confinement and dozens of years on probation for his criminal history, according to state records.