Video: Big Island police body camera footage of suspect shot by officer getting first-aid
The Hawai‘i Police Department released body-worn camera footage of moments following a Hilo shooting last week that left a suspect injured.
Aina Kealoha Bill Cachero, 32 of Hilo, was charged with a litany of offenses on Feb. 4 after being shot by a Hawai‘i police officer the day before during a confrontation involving an active vehicle theft.
“There were several officers equipped with BWC [body worn cameras] at the scene,” stated Hawai‘i Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. “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 is shown in the first portion of the 6 1/2-minute video above. The surveillance camera shows the suspect, later identified as Cachero, running around the front of a police car and then away from police on the far sidewalk.
“As one of the officers spots the suspect reaching his waistband, he shouts to the other officers: ‘He’s reaching. He’s reaching for something,'” according to Moszkowisz’s statement today. “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.”
Cachero pulled out a pistol around 11:35 a.m. on Feb. 3 when confronted by officers responding to the vehicle theft in the 500 block of Kukuau Street in Hilo, according to police at the scene. Cachero also admitted to pulling out a gun in a police interview after waving his Constitutional rights, according to police.
However, Cachero will not face any firearms-related charges.
“The weapon he pulled from his waistband was later examined,” Hawai‘i police said. “While its appearance, size and weight were consistent with a semi-automatic handgun, the weapon Cachero used in this case was found to not be a functioning firearm.”
The exact nature of the weapon was not immediately clear.
The rest of the video is comprised of body camera footage from two separate officers on scene and how they cared for and treated the suspect’s injuries seconds after he reportedly threatened them with a weapon.
The audio in the first 30 seconds of each recording is muted, Moszkowicz stated. This feature is by design and reflects a continuous 30-second buffer of video that is captured immediately before the body camera 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, Hawai‘i 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 he was treated and released into the custody of the police on the same afternoon.
Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to call the department’s non-emergency line at 808-935-3311 or Detective Paul Mangus of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2383 or [email protected].