East Hawaii News

Pahoa Man Shot While Driving Toward Police Officers

July 21, 2014, 5:51 PM HST
* Updated July 21, 5:53 PM
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A domestic incident in the Panaewa area of Hilo today culminated in the suspect later being shot by police.

Police said the suspect, identified as 38-year-old Riley Asuncion of Pahoa, sustained a non-life-threatening injury to his torso.

Officers initially responded to a report shortly before 11:30 a.m. about a domestic incident occurring in a pink sports-utility vehicle in the Panaewa area of Hilo.

Officers located the SUV and attempted to contact the driver who then drove off.

Police said they followed the vehicle to Stainback Highway. During the pursuit, the vehicle turned around on a side road and then “drove recklessly” toward two officers, resulting in three shots being fired toward it.

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The SUV continued a short ways down the highway and then stopped, and the suspect fled into the bushes. He was located a short time later.

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The officer or officers who fired the shots have not been identified.
Asuncion was taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition.

He has been arrested on suspicion of terroristic threatening.

Police learned that the victim of the reported domestic incident, a 30-year-old woman, had gotten out of the SUV prior to the chase. She was later located in Hilo.

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As is standard practice in any shooting involving police, the department’s Criminal Investigations Section will be conducting a criminal investigation and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

This is the first incident involving shots fired by police since the July 22, 2013 non-fatal shooting of a 33-year-old Kona man who was shot in the shoulder after he refused orders to drop a rifle and then tried to shoot himself.

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