HONOLULU (AP) — A federal agent charged with killing a man inside a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki was in Hawaii to help with security at this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, officials said Monday.
State Department special agent Christopher Deedy, 27, is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Deedy, who was released Monday after posting $250,000 bail, is accused of fatally shooting 23-year-old Kollin Elderts of Kailua during a confrontation early Saturday at a McDonald's in the famous tourist district.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed that Deedy was in Honolulu to beef up security ahead of the APEC conference, which begins Tuesday. The agent has been put on paid administrative leave.
"This was a tragic incident in Hawaii over the weekend," Nuland told reporters. She said she couldn't comment on the ongoing investigation, but said the State Department was cooperating fully with law enforcement.
Deedy was assigned to "support protection of dignitaries" at the meeting, Nuland said.
President Barack Obama and leaders of 21-member economies from the Asia-Pacific region are scheduled to attend the summit, which is being hosted by the U.S. for the first time since 1993.
Honolulu police are still investigating what led to the shooting, but a few details began to emerge Monday.
Michael Green, an attorney for Elderts' family, said Elderts and Deedy didn't know each other and that Elderts was unarmed.
Green said Elderts was at a Waikiki club before ending up at the McDonald's on Kuhio Avenue.
"I'm told there was a confrontation in the club," Green said. "He (Elderts) left and went to the McDonald's and this guy followed him."
Police spokeswoman Carolyn Sluyter 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, Sluyter said. She did not identify the other two men.
It wasn't immediately known who Deedy's attorney is. Nuland said the State Department has been in contact with the agent. She declined to speak about his previous assignments.
A manager at the McDonald's said the restaurant was cooperating with the investigation and declined further comment.
Authorities said Deedy was released from police custody at 5:15 a.m. Monday. His first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 17.
Elderts' family wants answers.
"I'm angry and my heart is hurting so bad," said Victoria Elderts, Kollin's aunt, told KHON-TV. "He was loved by all. I know he didn't do anything for that man to shoot him. I know he didn't. I know him."
Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said his thoughts and prayers were with Elderts' family.
"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 statement.
APEC is hosted by a different member nation or economy each year. Last year, it was in Yokohama, Japan.
The White House has said Obama chose his birthplace of Honolulu for the meeting to highlight America's position as a Pacific nation. The last time the summit was in the U.S. was when President Bill Clinton was in office. That gathering took place on Blake Island near Seattle.
Associated Press writers Bradley Klapper in Washington and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher in Honolulu contributed to this report.
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- Victoria Nuland