HONOLULU — A Honolulu police officer has been charged with murder and two other officers are facing attempted murder charges in the fatal April 5 shooting of a 16-year-old boy.
Prosecutors, who announced the charges Tuesday, called the shooting of Iremamber Sykap following a high-speed chase “unjustifiable,” KHON reported.
Forty-two-year-old Geoffrey Thom, a five-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted of second-degree murder. Meanwhile, Zackary Ah Nee, 26, and Christopher Fredeluces, 40, face the same mandatory sentence as Thom if convicted of second-degree murder for their roles in the confrontation, the TV station reported.
All three also face at least 20 years without the possibility of parole because their alleged crimes involved semi-automatic weapons, The Washington Post reported.
Ah Nee and Fredeluces have been with the department for three and 10 years, respectively.
“The evidence supports the conclusion that the defendants’ use of deadly force in this case was unnecessary, unreasonable, and unjustified under the law,” Christopher T. Van Marter, a deputy prosecuting attorney, wrote in a criminal complaint.
Specifically, Thom is accused of firing 10 shots “without provocation” into the rear window of a Honda driven by Sykap. Eight of the 10 bullets struck the boy, including one that pierced Sykap’s aorta, one that fractured his spine and one that punctured his lung, resulting in extreme external bleeding, The New York Times reported.
After the initial hail of gunfire from Thom, one of the other two officers is accused of firing a shot through the driver’s window, while the third officer is accused of firing four shots, striking Sykap’s passenger in the hand and shoulder, the Post reported.
According to KHON, the officers had found Sykap operating a stolen vehicle, which prompted the pursuit.
Prosecutors said body camera footage contradicted the officers’ claims that the teen had tried to drive into them and that they were protecting nearby pedestrians, the Post reported.
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