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Officer Fires Weapon at Vehicle in Papaʻikou

Posted January 22, 2017, 08:24 AM HST
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Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 1 a.m. Sunday morning, Jan.22, in Papaʻikou.

While conducting checks for a late-model Toyota Tacoma and an early-model Nissan Altima that were reported stolen from a home in Pepeʻekeo, a South Hilo Patrol officer encountered both vehicles, as well as a light-green Honda Civic sedan, on Enoka Place in Papaʻikou.

As the officer approached the three vehicles and exited his patrol vehicle, the driver in the Honda drove directly toward him. In response, the officer discharged his service weapon in the direction of the Honda’s driver, who swerved around and drove past the officer, fleeing the area.

The Nissan immediately followed the Honda. The Nissan’s driver was stopped and arrested. The Toyota drove up Enoka Place and was found abandoned.

The officer who discharged his firearm has nearly six years experience as a police officer and was not injured.

Police arrested 18-year-old Royden Kekoa Wilbur, who has no permanent address, on suspicion of second-degree theft. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

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Detectives are also investigating the possibility that the Honda involved in this incident may be the same Honda that was reported stolen from a shopping center on Makaʻala Street earlier in the evening and are checking nearby businesses for video footage. The Honda stolen from Makaʻala Street is described as a turquoise 2000 Honda Civic four-door sedan bearing license plate ZDH 926.

Police have initiated an attempted first-degree murder investigation, as well as an additional second-degree theft case and an attempted second-degree theft case.

As is standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who observed a light-green Honda Civic on Route 19 shortly after 1 a.m. to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Sandor Finkey at 961-2384 or sandor.finkey@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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