HPD Arrests Hilo Parking Lot Shooting Suspects

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Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a shooting incident reported Monday night, Feb. 6, in the parking lot of a shopping center on the 2100 block of Kanoelehua Avenue in Hilo.

Responding to a 10 p.m. report of multiple gunshots fired, officers learned that a man had fired several gunshots at a group of young adults standing near their vehicles, resulting in two vehicles being struck multiple times. Although no one was injured, four men—ranging in age from 18 to 19—and a 20-year-old woman

Although no one was injured, four men ranging in age from 18 to 19 and a 20-year-old woman were in close proximity to the vehicles the bullets struck.

Police combined all patrol officers from the South Hilo and Puna districts nearing the end of their shift to search for the suspect vehicle.


At approximately 12:25 a.m., officers spotted the suspect in the Keaʻau area and a vehicle pursuit ensued.

Shortly thereafter, the vehicle stopped, a woman and juvenile male got out and the car sped away. The woman and juvenile were taken into custody while the pursuit continued.

Approximately 30 minutes later, the driver abandoned his vehicle in the area of the old mill in Keaʻau and was taken into custody following a brief foot pursuit.


Arrested were 29-year-old Desmond Lee K. Kepano, who has no permanent address, 32-year-old Kanani U. Castro of Pāhoa and a 17-year-old boy.

Kepano was arrested on suspicion of five counts of attempted second-degree murder and one count each of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree terroristic threatening, resisting an order to stop a vehicle, and reckless driving. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Castro and the juvenile, who were arrested on suspicion attempted murder, were later released without charges.


Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Tuckloy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2385 or [email protected] or call the police department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide 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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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