A 22-year-old Alabama soldier is dead following a confrontation that involved a vehicle chase and ramming of police cars in Waikiki, Hawaii Tuesday morning.
Ashford, Alabama native Gregory M. Gordon, 22, was killed after being shot multiple times by police after he hit several police cars with a pickup truck, according to local reports from KHNL-TV (HawaiiNewsNow) and KHON-TV.
The Ashford, Alabama police chief could only confirm that Gordon did, in fact, live in the city. Sonja Swain, a Gordon family friend and Ashford Police Dispatcher, said she was shocked. "I don't think if he was in his right state of mind, he would not have done anything in that nature."
Gordon, an Army Soldier assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, was involved in a pursuit with numerous Waikiki law enforcement officials, Hawaii TV stations reported, though it was not immediately known why Gordon refused to stop. It is known that he'd just come from a bar in Waikiki and was driving a blue Dodge truck that belonged to another soldier from the same barracks. The truck was not reported stolen.
A search of the truck yielded a replica handgun, but no drugs or alcohol. However, Gordon's blood-alcohol level was .196, more than 2.5 times the legal limit in Hawaii. The truck, itself, had no mechanical issues that would have prevented it from stopping.
HawaiiNewsNow said the pursuit started around 4am local time Tuesday when Gordon's truck was seen driving the wrong way down a street a few blocks away from the fatal shooting. The soldier is reported to have driven on sidewalks and at one point "drove straight at a cop," HawaiiNewsNow cited Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha as saying.
After being critically wounded, authorities pulled Gordon from the vehicle and rushed him to a hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
Video taken by a resident in a high-rise overlooking the scene showed the situation unfold. The video, from resident Daylin Pelletier, showed numerous police cars surrounding Gordon's vehicle. His engine is heard revving and then the truck smashing into the police vehicles.
HawaiiNewsNow reporters say Gordon's truck then screeched tires into reverse and slammed into another police vehicle in a cloud of smoke. Six shots were then heard.
"They kept on telling him, Stop. Stop. But he kept on smashing," Ala Wai resident Bill Coleman, who witnessed the shooting from his apartment window, told HawaiiNewsNow.
In all, five police cars, two civilian cars and a light pole were damaged, HawaiiNewsNow reported. Three Honolulu police officers were treated and released from area hospitals.
KHON-TV reports that police officials are investigating the use of deadly force. Several officers are now on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation.
Gordon is a U.S. Army Soldier assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, HawaiiNewsNow confirmed. KHON-TV confirmed that Gordon was a Schofield-based soldier.
"This is an incredibly tragic incident, and we offer our condolences to the Soldier's family and to the officers injured," said Lt. Col. Derrick Cheng, spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division. "We're working closely with the HPD as they lead the investigation, and they have our full support throughout this process."
HawaiiNewsNow confirmed that Gordon had time in combat, serving a tour in Afghanistan for 9 months. His tour ended in January 2012. Speculation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been made, but there is no evidence at this time that Gordon suffered from it.
Gordon's high school principal, Ashford High School's Jarod Andrews, said of the former student that he was not active in any sports, but he was always willing to help with anything that was needed. The man had 4 brothers, and had pictures of a young son on his Facebook page.
Friends told HawaiiNewsNow that he had plenty or reasons to want to come home. "I can just imagine what it's going to be like, him growing up without a daddy," Swain said of the man's son.
KHON-TV says Gordon's confrontation is the latest in a string of crimes involving military service members. Others incidents include one in December involving an Army sergeant who went on a rampage, a November incident involving a soldier who led military police on a high speed chase and an October situation involving a manhunt for a former soldier who made threatening phone calls.
Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. HawaiiNewsNow and KHON-TV contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
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