Two Hawaii cops were fatally shot on Sunday by a person who authorities believe later died in his home after he set it ablaze during a quiet neighborhood shortly from Oahu’s busy Waikiki Beach, officials and native media said.
“Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu cops killed within the line of duty this morning,” Hawaii Governor David Ige said during a statement.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell called the shootings “an unprecedented tragedy” for the state.
A third officer was injured within the incident during which the spreading fire destroyed several houses in an affluent area near the bottom of Diamond Head, a volcanic mountain at the southern tip of the island, KITV News reported.
Michelle Yu, a Honolulu police spokeswoman, declined to discuss the incident, but said by telephone that a press briefing was being planned.
A representative for the Honolulu field office of the FBI didn’t immediately reply to a phone message seeking information.
The incident started on Sunday morning when officers received the house of a person identified as Jerry Hanel, 69, after he stabbed his “landlord,” a woman, who was trying to evict him, Hawaii News Now said, citing unidentified police sources.
The officers were met with gunfire and therefore the suspect then set fire to the house , which spread to other houses, Hawaii News Now reported. Police believe Hanel died when the house went up in flames, it said.
Pictures posted by local media showed smoke coming from several houses within the neighborhood.