NOTE: This story will be updated with video from the police BWC.
(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi Police Department has released body worn camera (BWC) video recorded during the officer-involved shooting that occurred on Friday, February 3, on Kumukoa Street in Hilo.
“Unfortunately, none of the BWCs captured the actual shooting,” reported Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz in a statement that accompanied the video release. “Whether this is due to an equipment malfunction, or simply because officers did not activate their cameras in time is part of our administrative investigation.”
Police shot 32-year-old Aina Kealoha Bill Cachero in the upper shoulder, after officers – responding to a report of an active vehicle theft from a residence – say the suspect ignored their commands and “was observed reaching into his waistband area, pulling out a dark-colored pistol, and turning his body towards the officers.”
Cachero was arrested and transported via ambulance to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated and released. He was alter charged with an array of offenses including second-degree robbery and first-degree theft.
Here is the full statement from Chief Moszkowicz:
“There were several officers equipped with BWC at the scene. Most show officers directing traffic or coordinating with investigative units to respond to the scene.
Unfortunately, none of the BWCs captured the actual shooting. Whether this is due to an equipment malfunction, or simply because officers did not activate their cameras in time is part of our administrative investigation.
Investigators were able to recover a brief clip from a surveillance camera in the neighborhood that we are sharing with you today (in the first portion of the video). That video shows the suspect (in shorts) running around the front of a police car then away from police on the far sidewalk.
As one of the officers spots the suspect reaching his waistband, he sho(u)ts to the other officers, “He’s reaching. He’s reaching for something.” Unfortunately, the video ends before the officers use of force occurs to the right of the frame.
While I am disappointed we cannot share what happened in the seconds leading up to the shooting, I am glad we can provide footage from the officers BWC’s in the moments immediately following the shots being fired. Two officers BWCs are being shared that portray how the officers cared for and treated the suspect’s injuries seconds after he threatened them with a weapon. The audio in the first 30 seconds of each recording is muted. This feature is by design and reflects a continuous 30-second buffer of video that is captured immediately before the BWC is activated.
In the second portion of the video (Officer 1), one of the officers who was involved in the brief foot pursuit can be seen asking for medics and the fire department to assist the wounded suspect. He then assists in determining where the suspect is shot as officers can be heard encouraging the suspect to “keep breathing”, as another officer retrieves a first-aid kit. The officers also encourage the suspect, who is in obvious pain, to “stay still” while they remove his shirt and render first aid. Other officers can be seen in the background securing evidence, controlling the scene, and blocking traffic to preserve evidence.
The third portion of the video (Officer 2), is from an officer who was responding to the scene and who witnessed the suspect being shot immediately before exiting his police vehicle. He can be seen handcuffing the suspect as other officers ask to expedite medics to the scene to treat the suspect. The officers then roll the suspect on his left side and the words, “bullet down, bullet down” can be heard on the recording. This is a reference to officer survival training in which officers are taught to assess a gun-shot victim by keeping their bullet wounds towards the ground when possible.
After determining the need for a first-aid kit, the second officer can be heard saying, “I gotta get my IFAK.” An Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) is equipment issued to officers that contain trauma care supplies such as a tourniquet, gauze, trauma dressing, chest seal, shears, and other tools. After rushing to retrieve the first-aid kit, the officer applies personal protective equipment, cuts away the suspect’s shirt, and applies a chest seal to the suspect’s back within the first three minutes.
Shortly after the videos end, Hawaii Fire Department personnel and paramedics arrive at the scene and take over caring for the suspect. We are grateful for their quick response and the high level of care they were able to provide. Officers escorted the suspect to the hospital where, fortunately, he was treated and released that same afternoon.
Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to call the Police Department’s nonemergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Paul Mangus of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2383 or Paul.Mangus@hawaiicounty.gov.