BY JIM DOOLEY – Conflicting reports are emerging about events that led to the fatal shooting of a young Kailua man early Saturday in Waikiki by an off-duty federal security agent in Honolulu for the APEC conference.
The agent, Christopher Deedy, 27, a security officer with the U.S. State Department, was charged by police Sunday with second-degree murder and released from custody after posting $250,000 bond.
Deedy’s supporters have asserted that he acted in self defense during a violent altercation with Kollin K. Elderts, 23, inside a McDonalds Restaurant on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki.
But Michael Green, a prominent local attorney representing Elderts’ family, said Deedy shot Elderts after a verbal altercation between the two inside McDonald’s Restaurant on Kuhio Avenue escalated into physical violence and culminated with a fatal gunshot to Elderts’ chest.
“There was a knife recovered but my client didn’t have a knife,” Green said. “They can check it for fingerprints.”
Green said he spoke at length today with one of Elderts’ friends who was with him that evening.
“My client and his friend were at a bar in Chinatown, SoHo, and then they went to McDonald’s in Waikiki,” said Green.
“The agent (Deedy), two men and a woman came in” while Elderts was joking with his friend and other patrons, said Green.
“My client apparently said something to them like, “Hey, what’s wrong, everybody else is laughing, aren’t you having a good time?’” Green continued.
“They started having words and the agent said, ‘How would you like to get shot tonight?’” Green said.
“My client said, ‘What, you gonna shoot me? Go ahead, shoot me,’” according to Green.
Then Deedy “apparently karate-kicked my client in the chest and knocked him down. My client got up and apparently slapped him and grabbed him and the guy fires three shots,” said the lawyer.
Elderts was shot once in the chest and one round went into the ceiling of the restaurant. Green said he didn’t know where the third bullet went.
Deedy remained at the scene following the shooting and was attempting to administer cardio pulmonary resuscitation to Elderts when police arrived, sources said.
Police and prosecutors are refusing to disclose details of the ongoing investigation into the incident.
Deedy’s initial court appearance has been scheduled for Nov. 17.
The incident occurred just as international delegations from 21 countries are arriving in Waikiki for this week’s opening of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
Deedy is in Honolulu for security duties at the APEC conference.
A makeshift memorial for Elderts was placed on Kuhio Avenue near the site of the shooting.
Elderts was convicted in 2008 of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and of drunk driving in 2010.
Then in November 2010, he was cited for driving with a suspended or revoked license and for operating an uninsured vehicle.
Elderts pleaded no contest to those offenses in March.
On Monday, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye expressed sympathy for Elderts’ family.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this sad and difficult time,” Inouye said.
“I am confident that the Honolulu Police Department will handle this matter properly to ensure that justice is served, and that our community will be respectful and considerate of both the Elderts family and the national and international spotlight which is upon our beloved Hawaii this week,” Inouye said in a news release.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story incorrectly reported that Elderts threatened Deedy with a knife.