Crowd protests killing of Oahu man before APEC

AP News
Posted: Nov 08, 2011 11:22 PM
Crowd protests killing of Oahu man before APEC

Nearly 70 people marched in Honolulu late Tuesday to honor an Oahu man who authorities say was fatally shot by a federal agent in town for this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

Marchers held signs saying "APEC Kills" and "Justice for Kollin" in reference to Kollin Elderts, the 23-year-old Kailua man shot to death inside a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki on Saturday.

A man blew a conch shell as the group moved peacefully along the sidewalks from Old Stadium Park to the Hawaii Convention Center, where the APEC summit opened Tuesday. At least 20 police officers on bicycles escorted the marchers, blocking traffic so the protesters could cross streets together.

A few drivers honked their horns in support. At the convention center, the demonstrators stood in silence for a few moments in honor of Elderts. They chanted: "Remember Kollin Elderts. Justice for Kollin now!" The procession then went to the McDonald's on Kuhio Avenue where Elderts was shot.

State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Deedy, 27, was released Monday after posting $250,000 bail. He is accused of fatally shooting Elderts during a confrontation in the famous tourist district.

Deedy was in Honolulu to help with security at APEC. He has been put on paid administrative leave, according to the State Department.

Carolyn Hadfield, one of the organizers of the march, told the crowd through a megaphone that she was angered by the fact that Deedy was released on bail.

"He went free without even a requirement that he stay in Hawaii," she said. "It's emblematic of the power of protecting him and it's we the people that are going to have to be out there demanding justice or this will be swept under the rug."

Police said Elderts, Deedy and two other men were involved in an argument at the restaurant when the shooting occurred. Elderts suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Deedy was arrested at the scene. The State Department has been in contact with the agent, who has a court appearance Nov. 17.

Police have confirmed a knife was found inside the McDonald's after the shooting but would not say whom the weapon belonged to. Michael Green, an attorney for Elderts' family, said Monday that Elderts was unarmed.

The APEC meeting is drawing leaders of 21 nations and economies from around the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, Russia and Australia. President Barack Obama is hosting a leaders' summit this weekend.