Sunday, January 14, 2001
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Updated at: 1:55 a.m., Sunday, January 14, 2001

Two dead after shooting at Ala Moana shopping center

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

A man opened fire on police officers late last night as what may have begun as a domestic dispute escalated into a gunfight in the parking lot of Ala Moana Center.

A man and a woman were taken by ambulance last night to the Queen’s Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.

Police said a woman was shot in a Mercedes sport utility vehicle parked on the second level on the ocean side of Liberty House at Ala Moana. Emergency workers said she had suffered a gunshot to the head.

As the male gunman ran from the SUV he fired a shot at a police officer arriving on the scene in a Cushman vehicle, police said. That shot went through the windshield of the vehicle, but the officer, who was getting out of the vehicle, was not hit and returned fire. Officers arriving moments later also fired at the gunman who was running and firing at them, police spokesman Gregory Poole said early today. The gunman had been told to put down his weapon.

It was not known how many shots struck the gunman.

The incident began shortly after 10 p.m. when a caller to 911 told police that a man with a gun was arguing with a woman in a white Mercedes sport utility vehicle outside Liberty House. The man had a gun, the caller said.

Other calls followed. One was made by a 40-year-old man who was visiting from California and heard screams coming from the Mercedes.

"It appeared to be a boyfriend-girlfriend or husband-wife kind of thing," he said. Poole said the man and woman knew each other.

"I walked up and knocked on the door," the witness said, "and I got a shotgun pointed at me."

The witness said he left quickly and called 911. He was giving statements to police in the parking lot until late last night, but refused to give his name for publication.

Eighteen-year-old Luke Williams, his 17-year-old girlfriend, Lehua DeSilva, and Williams' parents, Ron and Kuulei Williams, had just finished dinner at an Ala Moana pizza restaurant and were returning to their car in the second floor parking lot when the shooting began.

"A policeman was out here and he said: ‘Get down! Get Down!’" the younger Williams said.

The family and DeSilva dropped to the ground and crawled behind trash cans and stone art works.

"We heard two shots and then we heard the police addressing him, and then we heard maybe eight more shots," Williams said. "Then it was over."

The family car was parked very near to where the shots were heard.

"A minute earlier," DeSilva said, "And we would have been in the middle of it."

Police last night did not release the identities of the two victims.

It was an eerie scene after midnight as officers walked around the cordoned off area outside Liberty House with flashlights looking for spent bullets and trying to see how many cars had been hit. One round went through the door of Liberty House.

People waiting for their cars were told to go home in taxis or with friends and return this morning.

Kristi Sherrill of Waikele said her Corvette was parked next to the gunman’s vehicle.
"It’s a long cab ride home," she said.

Staff writer John Windrow contributed to this report.

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