(BIVN) – A 38-year-old Puna man died on Monday evening, January 2, after he was reportedly tased by police who were responding to a Keaʻau home for an active attempted suicide call.
The Hawaiʻi Police Department are investigating the incident, and issued this news release on Tuesday:
On Monday evening, shortly after 5:00 p.m., Puna patrol officers responded to a reported active attempted suicide call at a residence on Ohiohi Street in Kea‘au. Responding officers contacted the father of the responsible, who stated that he and his son, Christopher Alan Ferreira, were involved in a verbal altercation, and that his son had made verbal threats towards him. As officers attempted to contact Ferreira, he retreated into the residence and locked the door. Officers established communication with him; however, he then walked out of officer’s sight and went into his bedroom, where he locked himself inside.
Officers were let into the residence by the father, and again established verbal communication with Ferreira, who refused to open the locked bedroom door. After repeated verbal commands to open the door, officers breached the bedroom door. Ferreira was observed armed with a large kitchen knife and a collapsible police-style baton. Officers continued to give Ferreira loud verbal commands to drop the weapons, however, he refused, and pressed the large knife up against his neck area.
Ferreira then began to vomit and appeared to experience some type of medical-related episode. He continued to disregard verbal commands, and refused to drop the weapons, at which time an officer discharged his Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) in order to disarm Ferreira, to allow officers to safely provide medical assistance. Upon the Taser being deployed, officers were able to secure the weapons in Ferreira’s possession and they immediately began performing life-saving measures, to include administering two doses of Narcan, due to the belief that Ferreira’s behavior may be associated with drug use.
Officers continued CPR until Hawai‘i Fire Department paramedics arrived and took over; however, all measures were unsuccessful.
Area I Criminal Investigation Section personnel responded to the scene and are continuing this investigation, which is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest.
Ferreira was transported to the Hilo Medical Center and officially pronounced dead at 9:18 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday morning, January 4, 2023, to determine the exact cause of death.
The Office of Professional Standards (Internal Affairs) has initiated a standard internal administrative investigation. The involved officers have six years, five years, and three years of service, respectively. They have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal review of this incident.