Gunman releases hostage, still held up at hotel 02-21-03

PHONE: 961-2251
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.

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(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.)

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