Investigators say second Christopher Deedy's second shot killed Kollin Elderts

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Jul 30 2013 06:24:00 PM HST

Day fourteen of the Christopher Deedy murder trial brought the prosecution's final witness. Detective Coons shares his knowledge of law enforcement protocol.

HONOLULU -

"This cashier is lifting up her hands up and putting her fingers in her ears. The other is sort of like 'oh my god.' Her body language is startled," said former Honolulu Police Det. Theodore Coons, describing the exact frame investigators believe shows the first shot fired the night Kollin Elderts was shot dead.

That bullet was found lodged in McDonald's back wall.

But what came as a big surprise to many, was that it was the second, not the third shot that ultimately killed Elderts.

"It traveled in a slightly downward angle, and that's consistent with the movement as they were traversing in front of cashier, losing balance and falling backward to the area where the high chairs were," he said.

Coons believes the burnt gun power on Elderts' shirt shows the fatal shot was fired at least several inches from his body.

He says the third and final shot was fired when the two hit the ground, but the bullet missed an already gravely wounded Elderts and lodged above the ATM machine.

The question of whether Deedy was justified in firing his gun sparked a battle between lawyers as to whether their witnesses can testify to that.

Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn told the jury they should ultimately draw their own conclusions.

But Coons did say, in any situation, the use of deadly force can only be used if the public knows who you are and that officer feels his life is in immediate danger.

"You have to know a crime is committed. You have to know that person is the suspect. And then you must announce who you are and tell them 'police or I'm an officer' and ask them to stop resisting. And again, you want to use the minimum amount of force at all times," he said.

Coons says officers are also required to properly identify themselves, meaning announcing it, loud and clear.

He said it's not just for their own safety, but for the safety of others around them.
 

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