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State briefs for December 26

Police shoot, kill attempted murder suspect

WAILUKU, Maui — Maui police say officers shot and killed a man who was wanted for attempted murder.

Police say officers saw Kaulana “Toji” Reinhardt, who was wanted for numerous arrest warrants, including one for attempted murder with bail set at $1 million, was driving a stolen truck Sunday. Police say officers pursued Reinhardt when he refused to stop.

According to police, when the chase ended, Reinhardt pulled out a handgun and shots were exchanged. Reinhardt was hit and taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he died.

One officer had minor injuries that didn’t require medical attention.

Both officers involved were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Officials agree to $1M settlement in man’s death

LIHUE, Kauai — Kauai officials agreed to pay $1 million to the family of a man who died after being hit by a police cruiser.

The family of 19-year-old Michael Kocher Jr. reached a settlement last month with Kauai County, which also agreed to place a plaque in honor of Kocher at a park near his family’s home in Eleele.

Kocher of Hanapepe was struck by a vehicle while walking down Kaumualii Highway in January 2015. He was injured and lying in the road when he was hit by an officer who was responding to the incident.

A GPS device in the car indicated the officer was driving about 75 mph as he approached the scene.

The officer was acquitted last year of negligent homicide in Kocker’s death.

The officer did not have the high beams on his car turned on as he approached the scene, said Aaron Creps, the family’s attorney. The high beams would have increased visibility, he said.

Under the settlement, the Kauai Police Department agreed to make changes to its training curriculum, requiring new recruits to watch a video about the consequences of reckless driving and participate in a discussion about events leading to Kocher’s death, Creps said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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