HONOLULU, Hawaii – Early Saturday morning in Waikiki, in what is being called the “First Defining Moment for APEC 2011,″ a US State Department Federal Police Officer, whose duty appears to have been to “protect foreign dignitaries” arriving in Honolulu for APEC, shot and killed Kollin Eldert, a 23-year-old from Kailua.
Shortly after eTN published this article, eTN was called by the US Secret Service in Washington, DC. It was clarified the gunman was not a US Secret Service agent, but a Federal Security Officer.
The State Department refused to comment.
We know the city of Honolulu and State of Hawai`i have armed their security forces to the teeth with high-tech equipment. We know that numerous federal agencies are sending security agents but have no idea how many, and who they are, and how they will operate. But one thing is clear: while Mayor Carlisle and Governor Abercrombie boast that APEC is a great opportunity for Hawaii and are courting more international meetings like APEC, the costs to the people of Hawai`i will be horrendous.
“Hawaii News Now” reports:
A special agent with the US Department of State was in police custody Saturday in connection with a 2nd degree murder investigation after allegedly shooting a 23-year-old Kailua man in a Waikiki McDonald’s shortly after 2:30 am.
Honolulu police said the victim was shot during a confrontation involving four men at the Kuhio Avenue McDonald’s between Seaside Avenue and Royal Hawaiian Avenue.
The victim, identified by family and friends as Kollin Kealii Elderts, was taken to the Queen’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Elderts was a Kalaheo High School graduate.
Christopher W. Deedy, a 27-year-old from Arlington, Virginia, was arrested at the scene.
AP news reports that authorities said Deedy was released from police custody at 5:15 a.m. Monday. His first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 17.
Social and professional networking web sites identify Deedy as a special agent in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security for the US Department of State. Deedy lists his two primary duties as “conducting criminal investigations and working on personal protection details.”
Neither Honolulu police nor the State Department would confirm Deedy was in town to work on security for the APEC conference, but during a recent interview of alumni of the Fund for American Studies, Deedy said his job includes “escorting foreign dignitaries.”
The McDonald’s was closed Saturday as workers cleaned up and repaired at least one bullet hole near the ceiling.
“It was just so quick that I didn’t have time to react or analyze anything. It was just like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ The guy is just like laying here,” said Dexter Davis, a US Marine who told Hawaii News Now he was in the restaurant when the shooting occurred.
“I was about to order food, and I don’t know. It was so quick I really don’t know what happened. There was a guy like covered in blood like holding the guys chest to keep him from bleeding to death. But it was pretty crazy,” Davis said.
Connie Reinking, a visitor from Missouri, was in her hotel room across the street when the shots woke her.
“I heard bam and it woke me up. And I kind of stirred and wondered where that came from. And then I heard bam, bam, bam shortly after that,” Reinking told Hawaii News Now.
People on the street and in neighboring shops said Waikiki is relatively safe when compared to other cities.
“There’s crime here. There’s crime everywhere, but it’s definitely safer than anywhere else I know of,” said Robert Hackney, who owns Tiki Tattoo next to McDonald’s.
“I mean, I’m from Dallas and its crazy there. You can’t walk around by yourself late at night. It’s pretty safe here. There’s cops on nearly every corner and you see people walking around really late at night,” Hackney added.
Some people passing the closed restaurant Saturday said that part of Waikiki gets more dangerous when nearby bars close.
“When they come out they have booze in their system. And the only place to eat is McDonald’s at 2 o’clock in the morning. So they come from the clubs, all drunk, people look at each other – stink eye they call it here, what have you – words are exchanged and sometimes it escalates to fist fights and sometimes it escalates to what happened last night,” said Waikiki resident Abel Tamargo.
A spokesperson at the State Department told Hawaii News Now it is aware of the situation but cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.