Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A man shot and killed two police officers responding to an emergency call Sunday in an upscale Honolulu neighborhood before setting his home on fire that spread to several others, authorities said.
Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard told reporters during an evening press conference that three people remain unaccounted for, including the suspect, Jerry Hanel, 69, who is believed to have perished in the fire.
Visibly shaken, Ballard identified the slain officers as Tiffany-Victoria Enriquez, a seven-year veteran of the force and Kaulike Kalama, who had been on the force nine years. They are the first Honolulu officers to die on duty since 2012.
"They were like my kids," Ballard said, describing the shooting as a "senseless and selfish act."
Ballard said three officers were responding to a 911 call Sunday morning from a woman who was stabbed in the leg when the suspect opened fire, fatally striking Enriquez above her bulletproof vest and forcing the two other officers to take cover.
The suspect then fired at a second group of officers, killing Kalama, she said.
Shortly after, more officers arrived and smoke began to billow from Hanel's residence before several other homes became engulfed in flames.
The fire spread to 12 houses, destroying seven and damaging several more before being extinguished, Honolulu Fire Department officials said.
The whereabouts of two unidentified women who were inside the home where the fire began remain unknown, and police will continue to search for Hanel "until we confirm his remains are recovered," Ballard said.
"First responders are still at the scene and it will likely take days to process the crime scene, including the recovery of any remains," she said.
Fire officials were delayed from attacking the fire as there were reports of gunfire from within the residence, she said.
Ballard said both Enriquez and Kalama were wearing bulletproof vests and police had responded to the residence before concerning Hanel, who is believed to suffer from mental health problems.
The woman who was stabbed was in serious condition, she said.
According to court documents, the landlord had filed an eviction notice against Hanel.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it was sending agents to the scene.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige said the entire state was mourning the death of the officers.
"As we express our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy," he wrote on Twitter.
City Council Member Kymberly Marcos Pine offered prayers for the families of "the Honolulu Police Department officers who were killed and all who were injured during the Diamond Head incident today" in a post on Facebook.
"It is terribly upsetting to see the recent increase in crime and we grieve with HPD and other first responders who put their lives on the line to keep us safe," she wrote.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also offered his condolences for the families and friends of the two officers who were shot.
"This is an unprecedented tragedy for not only the City and County of Honolulu but the entire state of Hawaii," he wrote.