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Police defend shooting of homeless woman


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POSTED: Saturday, April 04, 2009

Homeless men criticized police for shooting and critically injuring a 45-year-old homeless woman early yesterday morning at South King Street and Kalakaua Avenue, the second shooting by a Honolulu officer this week.

;[Preview]  Police Shoot Homeless Woman After Attack
 

Two Honolulu police officers tazered and shot a 35-year-old woman Friday morning after she lunged at them with a metal rod and pick at the corner of King St. and Kalakaua Ave.

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But police said the woman refused officers' instructions and lunged at them with a weapon.

Richard, a 48-year-old man who lives on the street at Pawaa Park nearby, has seen the woman in the area before and says she appears mentally unstable.

“;When I heard she was shot, I was surprised,”; said Richard, who declined to give his last name. “;They didn't need to shoot her. There were ... officers around her. They got Tasers.”;

A 20-year-old man who lives on the streets in the area agreed, saying, “;I think it's pretty unjust.”;

At 2 a.m. yesterday, police officers, responding to a call from a security officer of a woman acting erratically, tried to get the woman to put down a metal rod and skewer.

Police said three male officers responded. One fired a Taser after she allegedly lunged at the officer, and when that allegedly failed to stop her, another fired two shots from his service pistol into her abdomen.

The 10-year-veteran downtown Honolulu officer who fired his handgun was placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure.

Police said the incident is under investigation, and had no further comment.

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The shooting comes five days after another shooting by a police officer.

Kiha Silva, 25, shot multiple times by an off-duty police sergeant Sunday at the 7-Eleven in Makaha, was charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle Thursday upon release from the Queen's Medical Center.

He had been arrested on suspicion of terroristic threatening but was not charged with it.

Police said the officer shot Kiha just as he thought he was about to black out after Kiha allegedly punched the officer and threatened to kill him.

Silva was shot three times in the abdomen, police reported. Kiha said he was also shot in the buttocks as he ran to his car. He said two bullets remain lodged near his spine and rectum.

He was released on $50,000 bail and will be arraigned Thursday.