HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
HILO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION
CAPTAIN SAMUEL THOMAS
FEBRUARY 21, 2003
Hilo police are negotiating with a lone gunman barricaded in a room at a Banyan Drive hotel.
The 33-year-old gunman originally took a 51-year-old male hostage, but released him after negotiating with police.
The ordeal began about 6:30 p.m. Thursday (February 20, 2003) when Hawaii County police received information that a convicted felon wanted on several warrants had been located at the Naniloa Hotel. On further investigation, it was determined that the fugitive had a handgun.
Police officers attempted to apprehend the suspect, who fled and subsequently took a male visitor hostage and barricaded himself and the hostage in an eighth-floor room at the hotel.
The police Special Response Team (SRT) and hostage negotiators responded to the incident. At 1 a.m., police negotiators convinced the gunman to release the hostage unharmed.
The suspect remained barricaded at 8 a.m. Friday. Police are continuing negotiations to convince the gunman to give himself up peacefully.
# # #
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The police department spokesman for this incident is Major Charles M. Chai Jr., head of the Administrative Services Section and Media Liaison. His number is 961-2247.)