Ex-Tacoma man, working as Honolulu police officer, dies of accidental gunshot wound

A former Tacoma who became a Honolulu police officer died Monday from a gunshot wound after his handgun accidentally fired, according to his family in Hawaii.

Jens Magelssen, 39, was showing his gun to a friend during a barbecue Saturday at his Wilhelmina Rise home when it accidentally discharged, said his uncle, Mark Magelssen of Kauai, Hawaii.

“There was no intention for anyone to get hurt,” he said. “Jens was just showing the gun to someone, and it accidentally went off. No one else shot him and he was not attempting to shoot himself. It was just a terrible, tragic accident.

“It’s carelessness on Jens’ part, which is unusual because he’s usually a very careful person.”

Jens Magelssen died the Queen’s Medical Center after he was taken off life support, his uncle said. The Honolulu medical examiner will conduct an autopsy.

He originally was from Tacoma and moved to Hawaii about six years ago to be closer to his 8-year-old son, who lives in Honolulu with his mother, Mark Magelssen said.

Jens Magelssen’s LinkedIn page shows he joined the Honolulu Police Department in April 2008.

He was a corrections officer with the Washington State Department of Corrections from 2004 to 2008 and a mental health counselor with the Monroe Correctional Complex, Special Offenders Unit, for nearly a year.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Washington Tacoma in 2000 and attended the Pacific Lutheran University from 1994 to 1996.