Former KwaZulu-Natal rugby player Lindani Myeni, who moved to Honolulu earlier this year, has died at the hands of Hawaii police.
The 29-year-old Myeni hails from Empangeni in KZN, but immigrated to Hawaii with his young family earlier this year.
On Wednesday evening, he was shot dead in his car by police officers, who responded to a ‘burglary in progress’ at a home in Nuuanu.
When police arrived on the scene, a scuffle ensued during which the South Afrian sustained a gunshot wound and was rushed to hospital where he later died.
Police are now saying Myeni turned on them and punched them, injuring at least three officers which resulted in one of the policemen then opening fire. However, it is unclear if an actual robbery took place but police have come under fire for their behaviour during the ordeal.
Hawaii News Now reported that in a news conference on Friday afternoon, acting deputy Chief Allan Nagata vigorously defended the officers and said they did everything right.
‘They told him to get on the ground and comply. They were in uniform and gave clear instructions. Although it’s dark, it’s pretty clear. As an officer with 30 years experience … I’m glad they survived. They did very well and they were very brave,’ he said.
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Myeni’s wife, Lindsay, has told Hawaiian media that the father of two was a gentle person who most likely wanted to visit his neighbours at the time of the incident.
She also took to social media to share an emotional post, questioning the reason for her husband’s death.