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A gunman killed two police officers in Honolulu on Sunday after they responded to a woman's emergency call for help. The suspect along with two women likely died after the home caught fire soon after the shooting.

Honolulu police chief Susan Ballard said the officers were responding to a call on Sunday evening and found a woman with a stab wound to her leg. After the police arrived, the shooter opened fire killing officers Tifanny Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama. The suspect along with two women who were inside the house are unaccounted for but officials state they likely died in the fire.

Five homes 'complete losses'

The fire from the home soon spread to other neighbouring properties with Honolulu fire stating five homes were "complete losses." A Honolulu resident, Ian Felix who was passing by the area said he performed emergency medical attention to a woman who he described was lying in a pool of blood from a leg injury. Felix who is a combat veteran with medical training said he applied pressure until the police arrived and heard two gunshots after more officers arrived.

The woman is homeowner Lois Cain, according to neighbour Dolores Sandvold. She said she heard screams, gunshots and later saw Cain being loaded into an ambulance with knife wounds, according to the Associated Press.

Disputes over property

While no information on Cain's condition and the suspect has been released, the shooter is likely a man named Jaroslav "Jerry" Hanel who lived on the property.

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Court records reveal Cain had filed an eviction complaint against Hanel in court last week stating: "Defendant does NOT have a Rental Agreement to occupy the premises and Defendant has no ownership interest in said premises." The complaint also read, "Despite repeated demands, Defendant has failed and refused to vacate the premises."

'A quirky guy with problems'

Hanel had various disputes with his neighbours including temporary restraining orders against him by three of them. While his neighbours have described him as mentally disturbed, his attorney Jonathan Burge said Hanel was not a violent person but a "quirky guy with problems."

Burge, who has represented him since 2015, said the Czech Republic native believed the government was watching him and tapping his phone. Hanel, who was supposed to attend a hearing next week on a charge of misusing 911 services, likely acted out in response to the eviction notice, "Maybe that's what set him off," he said.

The property that Hanel lived in was for free in exchange for handyman work and he was initially friendly with Cain. However, their relation soured recently after Cain refused to allow him to adopt a new dog after his previous pet died.

Honolulu's first police death in duty since 2003

The crime scene is located in the peaceful neighbourhood between Honolulu Zoo and Diamond Head State Monument and is popular among hikers and tourists for its vicinity of the volcanic crater. The last time a police officer died in a line of duty in Honolulu was 17 years ago.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said on the incident: "I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the two officers as well as the entire Honolulu Police Department."

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"This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawai'i." Governor David Ige mourning the death of the officers said, "Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning."