East Hawaii News

UPDATE: Overnight Officer-Involved Shooting Under Investigation

February 5, 2016, 8:38 AM HST
* Updated February 5, 4:55 PM
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Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

***Updated at 9:40 a.m. to include information from the Hawai’i Police Department.***

New details on the overnight officer-involved shooting have emerged.

Hawai’i Police Department officials say the incident occurred just after midnight at the Puainako Town Shopping center, located off of Kanoelehua Avenue, and left one person dead.

At about 12:20 a.m., police investigating the sighting of a sought-after fugitive known to be armed and dangerous located the suspect driving within the McDonald’s Puainako drive-thru.

Police confirmed that after being commanded to exit the vehicle, the suspect drove over barriers within the drive-thru and accelerated his vehicle, driving directly at an officer and ramming into two police vehicles.

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Officers discharged their firearms at the vehicle accelerating towards the officer.

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The gunfire resulted in the fatality of the vehicle’s driver.

A female passenger was also injured in the incident. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of her injuries and is in critical condition.

Authorities say no one else was injured in the incident.

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HPD officials say the identity of the suspect is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In addition, HPD did not release the name of the officers who discharged their firearms, but noted that they have 20, 15, and 6 years of experience with HPD, respectively.

A criminal investigation will be conducted by HPD’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section, which is standard practice in any police involved shooting. The Office of Professional Standards will also conduct an administrative investigation.

The incident closed the McDonald’s drive-thru until just after 9 a.m., according to the restaurant’s manager, who spoke to Big Island Now. The inside eating area was closed at the time of the incident, and had opened in the morning at its normal time. Outside of the drive-thru, no other operations were affected.

Shortly after re-opening the drive-thru, several workers were outside cleaning up loose rocks and dirt that were visible outside of the immediate area. The restaurant manager also took photos to document the situation.

Anyone who witnessed the incident should call Detective Grant Todd at 961-2385 or Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous should call the Big Island Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

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Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

Photo credit: Jamilia Epping.

***Original story posted at 8:38 a.m.***

A potential officer-involved shooting investigation is underway by the Hawai’i Police Department following an incident early Friday morning near the Puainako Town Center in Hilo.

Witnesses have told multiple media outlets that officers approached a vehicle in the McDonald’s drive-thru and asked the driver to get out of the vehicle. At that point, bystanders report that the vehicle accelerated and attempted to leave the scene. That’s when they say officers opened fire.

One individually was reportedly taken to the hospital. Word on the individual’s identity or condition are not currently known.

Attempts to reach out to the Hawai’i Police Department have not been successful thus far.

Stay with BigIslandNow.com as we bring you the latest details.

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