HPD Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Puna
The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, around 5:15 p.m. in Puna.
Officers responded to the report of a 42-year-old man who had stabbed himself with a knife at a home on Kahakai Boulevard, in Hawaiian Beaches. Upon their arrival, they were confronted with an adult male next to a rifle. The man took hold of the rifle and the officers ordered him to drop it. He then pointed the rifle at the officers who fired their duty weapons at the man. The male party retreated into the residence and out of sight of the officers. A safety perimeter was set up around the home and nearby residents were evacuated to a safe location as this was treated as a barricaded subject with a firearm situation.
The department’s Special Response Team responded to the scene and a crisis negotiator attempted to establish communication with the man but was unsuccessful in doing so.
At about 7 p.m., team members entered the home and discovered the deceased male within. There were no other occupants in the home at the time and no one else, officers included, was injured during this tragic event.
There were four officers who fired their weapons, though it is not known at this time how many bullets struck the decedent. These officers have time of service ranging from less than a year to 13 years of law enforcement experience.
Police have initiated a terroristic threatening investigation, as well as an unattended death investigation. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death. The name of the decedent is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
As is standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting and associated death investigation. The Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.
Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information about it to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact Detective Jesse Kerr at (808) 961-2379 or [email protected].
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.