HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow/Gray News) -- In what the mayor called an “unprecedented tragedy,” two police officers were fatally shot Sunday, a third was injured and at least four homes in an affluent Diamond Head neighborhood were destroyed by fire in a shocking series of events that all appears to have started with an attempted eviction.
Police sources have identified the suspect as 69-year-old Jerry Hanel, and authorities believe he has died ― likely when the home he was in went up in flames. There is no manhunt for a suspect underway.
Court documents show Hanel has a history of violent behavior and making false 911 reports.
The chaos at the gateway to Hawaii’s no. 1 tourist destination all began about 9:30 a.m. when first responders were called to a home on Hibiscus Drive.
Police sources told HNN that the suspect apparently stabbed his landlord when she tried to evict him and then allegedly opened fire on the officers.
Witnesses saw injured officers being dragged from the home. One bystander said rescuers could be seen performing CPR on an officer in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
After opening fire, the suspect then allegedly set fire to the home. Those flames spread quickly to several nearby homes as firefighters struggled to gain access to the site.
At last count, at least four homes were destroyed and several more sustained significant damage.
On Twitter, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell expressed his condolences to the victims.
“This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawaii,” Caldwell 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.”
There’s a massive police presence at the scene, where scores of firefighters have also responded.
It appears the flames in the area are no longer active, but authorities have not yet said whether any of the home fires have been extinguished.
When the fires were at their height, flames and thick smoke could be seen for miles.
Sources told HNN that the two officers fatally shot at the home were initially taken in extremely critical condition to the Queen’s Medical Center. A third officer sustained a gunshot wound to the leg.
Dozens of police officers, including Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, were seen arriving at the hospital en masse as the patients were transported away from the Diamond Head scene.
The officers who arrived at the hospital were visibly shaken.
Several were crying, and Ballard could be seen hugging those arriving at the emergency room.
Soon after the shooting was reported, the home where it happened caught fire and became fully engulfed in flames.
Witnesses in the area say that fire spread quickly because Honolulu firefighters were staging nearby while waiting for police to give an all clear.
In addition to the homes that were damaged, several HPD vehicles were also damaged in the flames.
Video from the scene also appeared to include the sound of gunfire from within the home as it burned.
This story will be updated.