Puna man dies Monday during incident with Hawaiʻi Island police responding to call
On Monday evening, 38-year-old Christopher Alan Ferreira from Puna died during an incident with three Hawai’i Island police officers who were responding to a report of an active attempted suicide call.
This is the police’s account of what happened:
Police arrived shortly after 5 p.m. at a residence on Ohiohi Street in Keaʻau. Ferreira’s father said he and his son were involved in a verbal altercation, and that his son had made verbal threats towards him.
Officers attempted to contact Ferreira, but he retreated into the residence and locked the door. Officers were let into the residence by the father, but Ferreira went into his bedroom and locked the door.
Officers 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 armed with a large kitchen knife and a collapsible police-style baton. Officers continued to give Ferreira loud verbal commands to drop the weapons, but he refused and pressed the large knife up against his neck.
Ferreira 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 Taser to disarm Ferreira and allow officers to safely provide medical assistance.
Upon the Taser being deployed, officers secured the weapons in Ferreira’s possession and immediately began performing life-saving measures. They administered 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. All the measures were unsuccessful.
Ferreira was transported to the Hilo Medical Center and officially pronounced dead at 9:18 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2023, to determine the exact cause of death.
Area I Criminal Investigation Section personnel responded to the scene and are continuing this investigation, which is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest.
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.