East Hawaii News

HPD: Sunday ‘Affray’ Involved 40 Individuals, Gunshot

June 29, 2015, 11:06 AM HST
* Updated June 29, 11:08 AM
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A Sunday afternoon group “affray” and the discharge of a firearm has the Hawai’i Police Department looking for information from the public..

The incident occurred at the Pohoiki boat ramp in Puna, according to HPD, who says officers responded at 4:10 p.m. after learning that 40 individuals were involved in an incident and that a gunshot was heard.

Upon arrival, police found a 33-year-old man who had suffered injuries to his face and body. Police say the injuries were consistent with an assault. The man was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was later noted to be in stable condition.

Another individual, a 15-year-old boy, said he was punched and choked but did not want medical treatment.

A search of the area led officers to the recovery of a semi-automatic pistol in a bushed area of the beach park. The weapon matched the description of the weapon that was discharged into the air.

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Later in the evening, HPD returned the area after another report was called in. At that time, officers witnessed several individuals involved in a verbal argument.

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Junior Santiago, a 32-year-old Kea’au man, was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant.

A suspect in the discharge of the firearm was identified, however, HPD has not released an identity. The incident continues to be investigated as a reckless endangering case.

Assault cases and other related cases have also been initiated.

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According to HPD, a heightened level of enforcement will be stepped up in the area, raising enforcement efforts and displaying a more visible appearance as a response to the events that unfolded Sunday.

Anyone who may have witnessed the confrontations or who can provide HPD with information should call the police department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or call Officer Brian Souki directly at 965-2716.

Those who would prefer to maintain anonymity can call the Big Island Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

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