The soldier who was shot and killed early Tuesday morning during a confrontation with police has been identified as Gregory Gordon, 22, of Ashford, Alabama.
According to the Honolulu medical examiner’s office, Gordon’s blood alcohol level at the time of the shooting was 0.196, or approximately 2.5 times over Hawaii's legal limit of 0.08 to operate a vehicle.
Gordon, who was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division out of Schofield Barracks, led police on a short, but wild chase through Waikiki just before 4 a.m.
The episode began after officers on foot-patrol spotted Gordon driving a blue Dodge pickup in the opposite direction on Nahua Street. When Gordon drove the vehicle onto a sidewalk and came to a stop near Kuhio Avenue, police say he accelerated toward an approaching officer, who then fired his weapon multiple times in self-defense.
As other officers responded to the scene, the pickup was quickly surrounded on Ala Wai Boulevard by a crush of police cruisers. However, video obtained by KITV4 shows Gordon repeatedly ramming his truck into officers’ vehicles, which was then followed by a bevy of gunfire from two additional officers. An autopsy shows Gordon died from a bullet that entered his right shoulder and pierced his heart and lungs.
Honolulu Police spokesperson Michelle Yu said a replica gun was discovered inside the pickup Gordon was driving, but she couldn’t say whether it was in plain view of officers, or if Gordon ever brandished the fake weapon during the confrontation. Yu said no alcohol or drugs were found inside the vehicle, which is not registered to Gordon. Three officers were slightly injured by the ramming of their vehicles, and five police cruisers were damaged.
News of Gordon’s death at the hands of police has shocked the small town where the soldier grew-up just north of the Florida Panhandle. Family friend Meagan Childress said Gordon’s parents are in a state of “shock,” and that a spokesperson would have more to say to the media on Thursday.
A woman whose two daughters grew-up with Gordon told KITV4 the young soldier’s actions on the morning of his death appeared completely out of character.