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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Fugitive killed by police in 'Aiea shooting

 •  Map, chain of events of 'Aiea shooting

By Scott Ishikawa, Brandon Masuoka and Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writers

A 28-year-old man who was fatally shot by police in 'Aiea yesterday had a troubled history of drug use and had been sought by police after he left a court-ordered rehabilitation program last month without permission.

The body of Clinton Candelario, in the driver's seat of the white car, is part of the cordoned-off police scene on Kauhale Street following yesterday's shooting. Candelario was shot while trying to flee in a stolen car, police said.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Clinton Candelario, 28, was found in a garage on Kauhale Street in 'Aiea after being chased by police through the Pearl City and Salt Lake areas earlier in the morning. He was backing out a car he was trying to steal when two officers shot him at close range, police said.

One of the officers who shot Candelario was dragged by the moving Toyota Camry when he leaned in to try to stop the car, police said. The other officer fired his shot through the passenger window of the car.

One person who witnessed the shooting praised the officers for acting quickly to prevent a woman and her daughter at the 'Aiea home from getting hit by the car.

Police Chief Lee Donohue said both officers were shaken up, with one of them injuring his arm when he was dragged by the car. Both were treated at the scene. The two officers, whose names were not released, have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in shootings.

The shooting at a suspect in a stolen car is the second this year by police. On Jan. 8, a police officer fired shots at a 28-year-old man when he tried to back into police officers in Pearl City, police said. In that case, the driver was not wounded.

This is the fourth fatal shooting by Honolulu police officers since January 2001.

Candelario's mother, Luella Bactad, who remained at the scene for nearly four hours, declined comment.

Court documents describe Candelario's use of crystal methamphetamine and four convictions for auto theft, third-degree theft and fourth-degree theft.

Last October, Candelario received permission to participate in a rehabilitation program administered by Honolulu's drug court that would have meant five pending criminal cases including burglary, car theft and credit card fraud would be dropped if he successfully completed treatment.

But within weeks, he called program staff members to report he had relapsed and began failing to show up for the required urine tests, according to court papers.

Clinton Candelario had quit a drug rehab program.
Candelario spent 30 days in jail for violating conditions of the program, according to Marsha Kitagawa, spokeswoman for the state judiciary.

He later returned to the program, but on March 19, he told the drug court staff he had been involved in a car accident while driving without a license, had stolen electronic equipment and admitted to selling drugs while in the program, according to the court files.

That morning, Candelario left the program and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest with bail set at $50,000, court documents said.

Janice Bennett, program coordinator for the Hawai'i Drug Court program, said she didn't know what prompted Candelario to leave the program or if he had relapsed.

"We've had no contact with him since March 19," she said.

Yesterday, police had begun searching for Candelario at 7 a.m. when officers were asked to check on "suspicious activity" near a green sport utility vehicle parked at the Moanalua Golf Course.

Police said the patrol officers ordered the man driving in the Toyota 4-Runner to stop, but he sped away. They chased him through Salt Lake but called it off when the man began driving hazardously during rush-hour, police said.

Police chief Lee Donohue spoke with reporters at the shooting scene yesterday. He said one of the officers involved injured his arm trying to stop the fleeing man.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Police later located the Toyota at a Pamoho Place home in 'Aiea around 8 a.m. As officers were questioning people in the house, Candelario was seen running through the neighborhood to Kauhale Street, police said.

Witnesses said they saw Candelario enter the Kauhale Street home, where a woman had left her car idling in the garage. Officers nearby heard the woman's cries for help, said Lt. William Kato.

Candelario ran out of the house into the idling Camry, police said.

Officers entered the garage with their guns drawn and pointed at Candelario, ordering him three times to get out of the car, according to witnesses.

One officer tried to reach in and turn off the ignition, while the other tried to enter the car from the passenger's side, Kato said. Candelario backed out suddenly, and the door flung open, pinning one officer to the garage wall, Kato said.

"The car was moving at a fairly high rate of speed because of the skid marks in the garage," Kato said.

Each of the officers then fired a shot, Kato said.

The car continued moving and backed into a Dodge Durango owned by one of the officers.

One neighbor, Barbara Visaya, said she watched through her kitchen window as Candelario ran through a vacant lot to the house where the shooting took place.

"It appeared the mom was taking one of the kids to school when the man came around," Visaya said.

Visaya said the family's 5-year-old daughter was walking toward the Camry about the same time the man got into the car.

Visaya praised one officer for quickly telling other arriving officers to move the mother and child out of the driveway before the car backed into the street.

"The scary part was the girl was near the car before the man decided to back out," Visaya said. "I'm just glad the officer was fast-thinking and the girl didn't get hurt."

Advertiser staff writer David Waite contributed to this report.

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