12-31-23 Police Launch Attempted Murder Investigation Following Kawaihae Shooting

Hawai‘i Police Department
Area II Criminal Investigation Section
Acting Detective Joel Furuto
Phone: (808) 326-4646, Ext 281
Report No.: 23-122788

 Media Release

Detectives with Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigation Section (CIS) arrested a 39-year-old Waikoloa man as part of an attempted murder investigation following a reported shooting in Kawaihae in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 30, 2023.

At approximately 3:55 a.m. on Saturday, South Kohala patrol officers responded to an area known as LSD Beach near Kawaihae Harbor after a 29-year-old Kapaʻau man reported that a few minutes prior to calling police he was shot at while driving his vehicle on Akoni Pule Highway.

Police determined the victim was travelling southbound on Akoni Pule Highway in the area of the entrance to Kohala Ranch when he encountered a sedan, also travelling south on Akoni Pule Highway, driving erratically. The victim overtook the sedan, at which point the sedan driver brandished a firearm and discharged it in the direction of the victim’s vehicle. The victim’s vehicle, a mid-sized sports utility vehicle, sustained damage as a result of the gunshot, however the victim was not injured.

In the course of the investigation, police determined the suspect, 39-year-old Alexander Alika Akau III of Waikoloa, was an acquaintance of the victim.

With information on the identity of the possible suspect, South Kohala patrol officers conducted a check at a residence in the 68-1800 block of Pau Nani Street a little after 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and arrested him for suspicion of:

  • Second-degree attempted murder
  • First-degree reckless endangering
  • Carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway
  • Reckless driving

Akau III was transported to the Kona Police Station’s Cellblock as Area II CIS detectives continued the investigation. A vehicle believed to be the sedan Akau III was driving earlier in the day was also recovered and towed to the Kona Police Station.

Akau III is being held at the Kona Police Station’s Cellblock and has not yet been charged with any crimes.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or who may have witnessed the events leading up to the incident are encouraged to contact Acting Detective Joel Furuto at (808) 326-4646, ext 281, or via email at joel.furuto@hawaiicounty.gov. They may also contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

Citizens who wish to remain anonymous can make an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers does not record any calls or subscribe to caller ID.

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