UPDATE: Suspect Captured in Shooting of Officers
by Nate Gaddis and Dave Smith
***Updated at 5:20 p.m.***
A 31-year-old Hilo man was arrested this afternoon in connection with the shooting of two police officers in Hilo Wednesday night.
Police said Keaka D. Martin was found at a home on East Palai Street in the Panaewa area of Hilo.
A team of 20 law enforcement officers arriving at the home at about 3:30 p.m. heard a single gunshot from within the house. When they entered the home, officers found Martin with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
Martin was arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree attempted murder and taken to Hilo Medical Center. Police said Martin’s condition was critical.
The team that arrested Martin included police as well as state sheriff’s deputies and three FBI agents.
Under Hawaii law, if Martin is convicted of first-degree attempted murder he faces life in prison without parole.
The shootings occurred at about 8:52 p.m. Wednesday night near The Pono Place in the 800 block of Kilauea Avenue. Located under a large banyan tree, the establishment was formerly known as the Green Onion Cocktail Lounge.
The officers were shot while responding to reports of multiple gunshots heard in the area of Café 100 a little more than an hour earlier.
The policemen who were shot were searching the area when they discovered a man hiding under a car parked in a lot near the establishment. As they approached the individual, both officers were fired upon and sustained gunshot injuries to their lower extremities.
Police said one of the officers was able to return fire.
The officers have not been identified.
The suspect fled the area on foot, heading along the Wailoa Pond in the direction of the Hilo Lagoon Centre.
Police have not said whether Martin sustained any injuries from last night’s return gunfire.
The officers are recuperating at Hilo Medical Center where they underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds.
Police spokeswoman Chris Loos this morning said the two are listed in stable condition.
Information on the type of weapon used was not immediately available, she said.
Police said the injured HPD officers were a 40-year-old who has been with the department for 14 years and a 31-year-old, four-year veteran of the force.
Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.
Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident or may have information on the identity of the suspect call Detective Grant Todd at 961-2385 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Loos said this was the first shooting of an on-duty police officer on the Big Island since May 1997.