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Police shoot Waipahu man, 43, to death

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Dec 14 2013 08:08:00 AM HST

A mentally ill 43 year old Waipahu man is dead after being shot by police.

WAIPAHU, Hawaii -

A mentally ill 43-year-old Waipahu man was shot and killed by police early Saturday morning, according to the Honolulu Police Department.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

Officers responded to a dropped 911 call just after 3 a.m.

The victim was identified by the medical examiner as Victor Rivera.

Police say Rivera was in his backyard holding a 12-foot-long metal pole with a 6-inch-long blade attached to the end.

"Bang, bang, bang.  Then get one second and another bang, bang, bang," said neighbor Arte Acob.  "I don't know if it was four for five maybe but more than three maybe."

In the backyard, officers say they repeatedly told Rivera to put the makeshift bayonet down, but he began to advance at them making cutting motions.

"One of the of officers deployed his electric gun, but was ineffective and continued the advance," said Chief Louis Kealoha.  "A second officer shot multiple shots fatally striking the male several times."

"Every scene we try to do everything we can to protect everyone's safety," said Maj. Richard Robinson.  "This situation developed very rapidly in a relatively small, enclosed space."

Acob says he's been friends with Rivera's family, when they moved into the neighborhood 15 years ago.  The victim, his brother and parents live in the home.

"The father was crying," said Acob.  "That was after the investigation.  He said, whoa kill my son.  I said who?  He said the cops."

Rivera was a regular sight in the neighborhood.  Sue Leong remembers him taking her trash out, riding his bike up and down the street every day and opening the gate for his father.

"He was a very nice boy . You look at him you know he was harmless.  He wouldn't hurt anybody.  Very nice," said neighbor Sue Leong.  "He would say hello to you and go back to his place.

All four officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, as standard protocol.

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