State Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said the boy showed up Tuesday morning at Roosevelt High School. Officials there recognized him as a runaway who was not registered for classes, and called police.
Maj. Richard Robinson, commander of the Honolulu Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division, said the boy lunged at officers who arrived at the public high school near downtown Honolulu and tried to take him into custody.
Robinson said the teen attacked one of the officers with a knife, leaving him with a minor cut on his torso. He also hit two other officers, but neither suffered serious injuries, he said.
One of the officers then fired two shots, hitting the boy once in the wrist. The teen was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Robinson said.
The shooting prompted a lockdown at Roosevelt, which has an enrollment of about 1,500.
Kealii Akiona-Soares, said he was in social studies class when he heard a faint shot at about 8:20 a.m.
Then a school bell sounded and students were kept in their classrooms, the 17-year-old junior said. He said his class continued with a politics lessons, and everyone kept mostly calm.
"I guess it happens a lot in mainland schools, so it's not surprising," Akiona-Soares said.
Several parents, including Carolyn Richardson, gathered outside after word of the shooting spread. "This is really freaking me out," Richardson told the AP.
Richardson said she learned about the shooting around 9 a.m. through a text from her son, CarDarow, a sophomore.
CarDarow told her he heard shots had been fired at the school, but that he was OK. She then used her cellphone to video chat with him. "I told him, I gotta hear your voice," Richardson said.
Other parents outside the school also texted and talked on their phones to their children while they were on lockdown inside the school.
School was let out for the day at about 10 a.m., and a steady stream of students filed out of campus, with many reuniting with their parents.
Hawaii is one of 12 states that have not had a school shooting, or someone entering a campus with the intent to shoot, state Education Department officials said.
In 2011, a handgun that a 14-year-old student brought to Highlands Intermediate School in Pearl City went off, narrowly missing one student and leaving another with minor injuries.
"I'm really shocked it happened here in Hawaii of all places," said Angie Estrella as she was picking up her son, a freshman, and her daughter, a senior.