Police Investigate Puna Shootings 06-15-01

PHONE: 961-2341
JUNE 15, 2001


Hilo detectives are continuing an investigation into the shooting incidents that occurred about 7:50 p.m. yesterday (June 14, 2001) on Ainaloa Boulevard near the junction with Route 130 in the Ainaloa subdivision of Puna.

After interviewing witnesses and uniformed patrol officers assigned to the Puna District, detectives determined that the driver of a vehicle, a 64-year-old female, and a 65-year-old male passenger were stopped on Ainaloa Boulevard by one of the two males involved in the incident.

Apparently, both males wanted a ride to Kaloli Boulevard in Hawaiian Paradise Park and entered the vehicle without the consent of either the driver or her passenger.

Before the junction with Route 130, the driver pulled over to the right portion of the roadway and requested assistance from four uniformed officers who were in the area in response to a gunshot call reported to police dispatch.

The passenger of the vehicle started sounding the vehicle’s horn to attract the attention of the officers. As the officers approached the vehicle, they recognized a male, 19, and a male, 20, in the back seat of the vehicle as individuals who had previous contact with police.

One of the officers observed that the male, 20, positioned in the right rear passenger seat of the vehicle was in possession of what appeared to be a rifle. The 20-year-old male subsequently pointed the rifle at the officer, who immediately backed away and alerted the other officers of the firearm.

Officers ordered both males to get out of the vehicle, at which time the 19-year-old male positioned in the left rear passenger seat started to get out of the vehicle when a gunshot was fired from within the vehicle.

One of the four officers, an 11-year veteran with the department, fired one shot from his service pistol and the bullet hit the 19-year-old male in the left chest area.

Immediately thereafter, another gunshot was fired within the vehicle. The officers then discovered that the 20-year-old male had sustained an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his facial and head area.

The 19-year-old was then taken to the Hilo Medical Center by Fire Department paramedics and treated for his injuries. He was listed in guarded condition after undergoing emergency surgery.

The 20-year-old male was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy was conducted Friday morning, and detectives are awaiting the results of the post-mortem examination.

Following standard department procedures for similar type incidents, the officer involved in the shooting has been placed on leave.

Police are withholding the name of 20-year-old male pending positive identification.

The investigation is continuing by detectives of both the Criminal Investigation Section and the Internal Affairs Section.

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(NOTE: The 7:50 p.m. time for the shooting events is correct.)

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