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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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KCCROM January 28 2014 at 10:45 PM

Kid is lucky the Police Officer was a good shot or he might be DOA !

Flag Reply +10 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Dad January 28 2014 at 7:34 PM

cops in school yea good

Flag Reply +1 rate up
tje4mpcinc January 28 2014 at 8:47 PM

two things maybe three: Very lucky kid two ways . He lucky the police was a very good marksman and he not on the mainland. He would be shot in the wrist, heart, live etc.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
truposer tje4mpcinc January 28 2014 at 8:58 PM

A good marksman? He shot twice and only landed one hit. That is only 50% and at best a D-.

Flag Reply +3 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..

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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

Flag Reply 0 rate up
uniform911 January 29 2014 at 10:46 AM

I am a retired Police Officer from the State of Massachusetts. Been retired for seven years. I was a Sergeant in charge of the firing range for 17 years. I also had a lot combat experience in the USMC. So I would say that makes me a expert in gun affair incidents. I attended a lot of schools to get where I was in my field. The story I just read about these Police Officer is amazing. They gave this boy an other day to think about what he did, an other day to live his life out. Hopefully the rest of this boy life to be thankful to his parents and God himself and specially. These officer should be commended by highest traditions that there State and Police departments offer. I hat goes off to you Officer

Flag Reply +9 rate up
2 replies
fcollinshughes uniform911 January 29 2014 at 11:31 AM

Thank you for your writing and your service.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
accsport uniform911 January 29 2014 at 5:20 PM

If you are suggesting they deliberately fired to wound this kid you are thanking them for committing a Felony and deliberately violating all the rules in state standard of training. By state standard of training a firearm is "deadly" force only. The officer who fired missed one and barely hit with the other would suggests he needs to go back to Recruit Training for Basic Firearms.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Star January 28 2014 at 7:22 PM

This boy, who's almost an adult, is lucky it wasn't a far worse outcome.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
sstuczynsk January 29 2014 at 10:47 AM

The boy was very lucky he was not killed. You have to admire the officer's restraint in this matter. Many police officers would have shot to kill.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
ffjsb sstuczynsk January 29 2014 at 11:10 AM

He just had bad aim, he WAS shooting to kill.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
Patty Du ffjsb January 29 2014 at 11:33 AM

Another joker or at least another joker trying to be funny over something that is serious and should be taken as a serious problem

Flag 0 rate up
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?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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
jrb359 January 29 2014 at 7:12 AM

Idiot was lucky they didn't shoot him in the head. Pull out a knife and cut a cop? He got what he deserved!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
1 reply
wlh1923 jrb359 January 29 2014 at 9:23 AM

Philadelphia police would have shot him dead. They shoot and kill close to 20 civilians every year here.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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