Wounded suspect undergoes surgery, second suspect charged 04-17-02

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
INVESTIGATIVE OPERATIONS BUREAU
ASSISTANT CHIEF WENDELL D. PAIVA
PHONE: 961-2341
APRIL 17, 2002

MEDIA RELEASE UPDATE 2

After undergoing surgery at the Hilo Medical Center, a suspect wounded by a police officer early Wednesday (April 17, 2001) was reported in serious but stable condition.

The suspect, identified only as a 28-year-old Hilo male of no permanent address, was shot once in the upper left torso.

A second suspect who was with the wounded man at the time of the shooting has been identified as Justine Aoki, 20, of a Hilo address. Aoki was charged at 8:30 a.m. with fourth-degree attempted theft and his bail has been set at $250. He is also being held in the Hilo police cellblock without bail for revocation of supervised release and is to be arraigned in District Court on Thursday.

The shooting occurred when officers assigned to the South Hilo Patrol Division responded to a 3:12 a.m. call about a theft in progress at a laundromat on Shipman Street across from the Hilo Armory in downtown Hilo.

On arrival, the officers encountered two adult males in a blue 1987 Honda four-door sedan parked across the street from the laundromat.

An investigation determined that the 28-year-old suspect was sleeping in back of the vehicle when police arrived. When confronted by patrol officers, the suspect forced Aoki out of the driver’s side of the car and took control of the vehicle.

Witnesses at the scene indicated that the 28-year-old started the car, rapidly reversed it and then put the vehicle in forward gear and sped toward a patrol officer. The officer, a 20-year veteran, shot once and wounded the suspect.

Detectives from the Hilo Criminal Investigation Section were called to the scene to investigate the shooting. Police have also initiated a first-degree attempted assault case against the driver.

Following standard departmental procedure, the police department has placed the officer involved in the shooting incident on administative leave.

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