Slain Honolulu LEOs remembered for dedication to their jobs, families
Officers Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama were both described by family, friends as inspirational, loving and outgoing
Rosemarie Bernardo and Nina Wu
HONOLULU — Tiffany Enriquez, one of two Honolulu police officers shot and killed by a suspected gunman Sunday morning in Diamond Head, was described as hardworking and dedicated to her job and family.
She was also an inspiration to those who met and worked with her, personally and professionally.
Enriquez and fellow officer Kaulike Kalama were fatally shot by 69-year-old Jerry Hanel while responding to a call Sunday morning, police said. Enriquez was a seven-year veteran assigned to District 6 (Waikiki). Kalama was a nine-year veteran assigned to District 7 (East Honolulu).
Enriquez, 38, was the mother of three daughters and had one grandson, with a second grandchild on the way. Kalama leaves behind a wife and son.
Enriquez’s daughter described on Twitter her heartbreak over her mother’s untimely death.
“You don’t wake up thinking you won’t be able to tell your mother you love her again,” tweeted Teiya-Rose Delgado Sandoval in the wake of the shooting Sunday. “My mom dressed in her HPD uniform today as she fearlessly responded to a call that later would take her life. Mommy, I miss you and I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Enriquez’s boyfriend, Jonathan Daniel Baba, thanked the love of his life in an Instagram post for making him a “better man and a better police officer.”
Her ex-husband and the father of her three children, John Andrew Enriquez, said in a Facebook post, “My heart is broken. You are a loving mother, companion and my best friend. I know you will be watching over the girls and I love you and thank you for an amazing 17 years of marriage and 23 years of friendship.”
Kalama's high school classmates still think of him like he was part of their ohana, and on Monday they shared their memories as they grieved for him.
“I know everyone remembers him like a beloved brother, a brother to all of us,” said 2003 classmate Jennifer Lynn “Jenn” Rodriguez. “His smile and laugh was contagious.”
He was not only athletic, he was also outgoing, Rodriguez said. Rodriguez said she and fellow alumni are devastated over Kalama’s death. “We’re all heartbroken,” she added. “We’re still in shock.”
Enriquez's bodybuilding coach, Geri Lara Berger, was at her condo in Kakaako on Sunday morning when she noticed a large plume of black smoke billowing from the Diamond Head area.
Her business partner notified her that two officers were shot and one was female. “We both knew Waikiki was Tiffany’s beat,” she said.
She immediately texted Enriquez but there was no response. Berger then received a text from a friend who confirmed Enriquez had been fatally shot.
“She was like my little sister,” Berger said, her voiced choked with emotion.
She began coaching Enriquez shortly after they first met in February 2017. “She approached me because she wanted to do her first bikini competition.”
That year she competed in three bikini bodybuilding competitions, one of which was the Ikaika Classic, where she was the overall winner in the master division.
“She had an amazing presence. She took really well to the sport super fast. Judges loved her,” Berger said, adding that Enriquez had the “it” factor. “She had the ability to captivate.”
She further described Enriquez as nurturing and giving. “She was the sweetest badass you’ll ever meet. You don’t mess with her. There was so much respect.”
Enriquez last competed in the Muscle Contest Japan Pro/Am 2019 where she again came in first in her height class. Thereafter she decided to take a break from competitions to spend time with family.
Suzanne Lanting, co-owner of Hardcore 808 Nutrition Co. in Aiea, said Enriquez was well loved in the fitness community.
“She’s such a superstar, hardworking like she is with her career,” Lanting said. “She was always positive, always smiling and cracking jokes. She was always wanting to help with anything and everything.”