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Police: Officer shot boy in wrist at Roosevelt High School in Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) -- A police officer shot a 17-year-old runaway in the wrist Tuesday morning at a Hawaii high school after the teen cut one officer with a knife and punched two others, authorities said.

State Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said the boy showed up at Roosevelt High School near downtown Honolulu, and officials there recognized him as a runaway and called police. The boy had been a student at the public school before but wasn't registered for classes there this semester, she said.

Honolulu police Maj. Richard Robinson said officers arrived at the school and tried to take the boy into custody, but he lunged at them.

The teen attacked one of the officers with a knife, leaving him with a minor cut on his torso, Robinson said. He also hit two other officers, but neither suffered serious injuries.

One of the officers then fired two shots, hitting the boy once in the wrist. The teen was taken to a hospital in serious condition, EMS spokeswoman Shayne Enright said. His injuries were not life-threatening.

The incident prompted a lockdown at Roosevelt, which has an enrollment of nearly 1,400.

The officer who fired on administrative leave during an investigation, Robinson said.

Tenari Maafala, president of the statewide police officers union, said the knife posed a clear threat and officers are trained to stop a threat, regardless of the suspect's age.

"They didn't come here looking to shoot somebody," said Maafala, who went to the school as part of the Honolulu police peer support unit.

Noah Powell, a 16-year-old junior, said the shooting happened in a school counselor's office. Powell said he was in a nearby office and heard the struggle and shots but didn't see the 17-year-old or know who he was.

Powell texted his parents afterward to let them know he was OK. He said he also posted on Facebook that he was fine and got quick responses from people saying they were praying for the school.

Kealii Akiona-Soares, a junior, was in social studies class when he heard a faint shot at about 8:20 a.m.

Then a school bell sounded and students were kept in their classrooms, the 17-year-old said. He said his class continued with a politics lesson, and everyone kept mostly calm.

"I guess it happens a lot in mainland schools, so it's not surprising," Akiona-Soares said.

Several parents, including Carolyn Richardson, gathered outside Roosevelt after word of the shooting spread. Some were visibly upset, and many texted or called their children.

"This is really freaking me out," Richardson said.

She said she learned about the shooting around 9 a.m. through a text from her son, CarDarow.

CarDarow, a sophomore, texted her that he heard shots had been fired at the school but he was all right. Richardson then used her cellphone to video chat with her son.

"I gotta hear your voice," she screamed at him.

Faith Kalamau said she rushed to the school as soon as she got an automated call saying the campus was on lockdown.

"I'm very worried," she said. "I heard on the news there were some people shot."

After reuniting with her son, freshman Kahaku King, she said officials took too long to provide details about what happened.

"I was frustrated," she said. "I thought maybe more information should have been told to the parents or at least to the media. This is the first time I've been in this situation."

School was let out for the day at about 10 a.m., and a steady stream of students filed off the campus, near the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific known as Punchbowl. Classes were to resume Wednesday.

"Incidents like this are very rare in Hawaii, however, our partnership with the Honolulu Police Department on safety drills played a major role in the success of today's lockdown," said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. She commended staff and students for following safety protocols and thanked parents for their patience and understanding.

Hawaii is one of 12 states that have not had someone entering a campus with the intent to shoot, state Education Department officials said.

In 2011, a handgun that a 14-year-old student brought to Highlands Intermediate School in Pearl City went off, narrowly missing one student and leaving another with minor injuries.

"I'm really shocked it happened here in Hawaii of all places," said Angie Estrella as she was picking up her son, a freshman, and her daughter, a senior.

The incident comes amid a string of violence in recent months involving students at U.S. schools.

On Monday, a 16-year-old boy set himself on fire at a suburban Denver high school in an apparent suicide attempt. And earlier this month, a seventh-grader opened fire at a middle school gym in Roswell, N.M., wounding a 13-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy.

In Philadelphia, a boy and a girl hanging out with fellow students this month in a high school gym were shot and wounded.

In Centennial, Colo., a student gunman last month shot and killed a 17-year-old classmate before killing himself - a day before the one-year anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

Join the discussion

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nucleansolutions January 29 2014 at 8:51 AM

He missed?

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Fallenrock January 28 2014 at 10:03 PM

The saddest thing IMHO is that kids are kids and some get into being the biggest bully. The thing they don't realize is that the little kids they're bullying are probably smarter and can find what's become a much less clever way of getting even quite easy.

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1 reply
abourge458 Fallenrock January 28 2014 at 10:42 PM

Purrrrhaps karma?.... The wimp/nerd that is bullied grows up to be the lawyer that gets hundreds an hour from the former bully 10 years later for defending him on a drug charge. Or the $300 an hour shrink?

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gmgpjandon January 28 2014 at 9:23 PM

Welcome to a world of nearly complete freedom and nearly no feeling of responsibility or respect. Wonder why?

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1 reply
MaryAnn gmgpjandon January 28 2014 at 10:03 PM

When you read these boards, you KNOW that is no longer any respect for others

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jack January 29 2014 at 6:39 AM

I do not understand what is happening to our youngsters I believe parents had better start at an early age to respect there elders and the law in the past few years too many have died or been hurt by our youngsters

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1 reply
Vito jack January 29 2014 at 7:45 AM

Amen. Respect everyone and law. And finally one should be taught that there are consequences for your actions and that you should fear those consequences. I don't kill anyone because I fear the consequences. Even though I am poor and need money I will not rob a bank because I fear the consequences. I fear the screwed up legal system and going to jail. Today's youth don't fear the consequences hollywood has made them believe extreme behavior is something to be envied by others. I listened in at a restaurant one night to a group of four. One was telling the other three about why he spent time in county jail. He took a cop car for a joy ride and drove through a fence in someones yard. "Cool!" I heard one of them say. I just shook my head in disbelief.

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ponyboy3543 January 29 2014 at 8:14 AM

I am glad that we have some people who will stand up for what is right and take control of the situation at hand. Hopefully this young man will be prosecuted as an adult and to the full extent of the law in this case.

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1 reply
MATT ponyboy3543 January 29 2014 at 10:42 AM


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joe January 29 2014 at 6:24 AM

The parents are never around but when Johnny gets his but in trouble. "My johnny would never do that" . This country has gone into the toilet. Our children have become weak and lazy and the parent are the reason. Now we have to worry because our children might hear something that was bad and it may influence the child into being bad. Get real. Kids get away with anything these days. When I was a child I knew my father would pick me up by my shirt put me against the wall and say to me. " What were you thinking" Hey one time works. The kid is a train wreck waiting to happen.

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1 reply
joe joe January 29 2014 at 6:25 AM

Sorry about mispelled words I was in a rush, and this ticks me off.

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1 reply
Martha joe January 29 2014 at 7:05 AM

It's OK to be passionate about these issues.The community used to be raising the kids as well, but now if you were to chastise a child for punching ,pushing and bullying at the park, the parent would rush you and either berate you to a pulp or kill you. Our society controls are upside down.No one teaches good citizenship, responsibility anymore.

Flag +4 rate up
gerrycam January 29 2014 at 10:39 AM

I don't know about this kid but when I was 17 I was 6'1" and 185lbs, not that, at least in this instance, size matters. Armed and aggressive means just that.....he was resisting arrest and assaulting a police office. The fact that he was using a pocket knife is not relevant. I have a pocket knife with a 6 inch blade which could easily open a major artery. Could the police have taken him down without firing? Possibly. Are they required to take unnecessary risks to do so? Absolutely not. If the kid ignored orders to stand down the officer made the right decision based on recent school shootings by current or former students The officer had no way of knowing the kids intentions or if he was high on dope. If he had gotten out the door and put that knife into another kids neck everyone would be asking why they didn't shoot instead of why they did?

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connie January 28 2014 at 7:36 PM

This boy needs to learn violence isn't tolerated he could have killed one of them. I hope for his sake he smartens up before something serious happens.

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1 reply
mproviderone connie January 28 2014 at 7:40 PM

cops have 50.000 volt tasers and tear gas. at least he didn't kill him.

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Dad January 28 2014 at 7:34 PM

cops in school yea good

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Mike Hulgin January 28 2014 at 7:31 PM

That Idiot is Lucky to be with the Living. He's so Lucky that Cop didn't dump a clip in him. That only takes about 4 seconds, at the most..

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1 reply
Tyler Mike Hulgin January 28 2014 at 7:52 PM

were was the cops night stick. one good hit in the arm! one good time the kid would not do it again.iam a x security officer from Md.i was in Dc.too we did not get a gun, we had night sticks.and had to go to class to us them.***** cop

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