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What we know about a shooting, stabbing, and fire in Honolulu, Hawaii

Two officers were killed, and two people were wounded in a Honolulu incident involving a shooting, a stabbing, and a devastating fire.

First responders secure the area as smoke billows down the street following a shooting in Honolulu, Hawaii, on January 19, 2020.
Marco Garcia/AP
Sean Collins is a news editor with Vox’s politics and policy team. He’s helped cover elections, Congress, and both the Biden and Trump administrations. Previously, Sean was Vox’s weekend editor.

Two police officers were killed in a shooting in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sunday morning — a third officer was reportedly wounded, and a fourth person was stabbed.

According to Hawaii News Now, the suspected gunman — who is believed to have died — opened fire on police officers responding to a stabbing. That suspected gunman reportedly stabbed his landlord as she tried to evict him.

After the officers arrived, the gunman is believed to have set fire to his building, and those flames destroyed at least three other homes.

“A little bit before 10, we started smelling some smoke,” Robert Brassfield, who lives in the neighborhood in which the shooting took place, told the Associated Press. “And then we started hearing sporadic gunshots. ... That went on for several minutes.”

On Twitter, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell called the incident “an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai’i,” and said, “I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two officers as well as the entire Honolulu Police Department.”

This story is still developing. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t.

What we know

  • Sunday morning, a woman was stabbed at a home near Hawaii’s Diamond Head State Monument.
  • Officers responded to the stabbing at around 9:30 am local time, and were met with gunfire — two were killed, and one was wounded.
  • By 9:45 am local time, the home was in flames; the suspect in both the stabbing and shooting, 69-year-old Jerry Hanel, is believed to have begun the fire, which reportedly affected 12 homes, completely destroying four.
  • The suspect is believed to have died.
  • Officials have praised the action of first responders and offered their condolences to the families of the fallen officers. Governor David Ige said, “Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning.”

What we don’t know

  • The names of the killed and wounded
  • The status of the wounded individuals
  • The suspect’s motives

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