VNP Remembers Park Ranger Murdered 20 Years AgoDecember 12, 2019, 4:40 PM HST (Updated December 12, 2019, 4:14 PM)
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park held a moment of silence today in memory of National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger Steve Makuakāne-Jarrell, who was shot and killed 20 years ago today.
The shooting occurred at Honokohau-National Historical Park in Kona on Dec. 12, 1999. Makuakāne-Jarrell was responding to a visitor complaint about three unleashed dogs.
On Dec. 14, 1999, Eugene Frederick Boyce, age 30, was arrested on federal charges in the park ranger’s shooting.
In 2004, the Pacific Area Communications Center (PACC), located within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, was established in Ranger Steve’s memory to serve the public and to protect the rangers and employees of all nine national park units in Hawai‘i. The PACC also supports American Memorial Park in the Northern Mariana Islands, National Park of American Samoa, and War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam. It’s staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by five dispatchers and the center manager.
In the hallway, outside the door leading into the PACC, sits a memorial to Makuakāne-Jarrell, who served the NPS from 1986 until his death in 1999. His duty stations included Andersonville National Historic Site in Georgia, the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial on Oahu, and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park before he transferred to Kaloko-Honokōhau.
“We carry Steve’s memory with us and we celebrate his life spent protecting the national parks and loving his family. We also remember and grieve with Steve’s widow, Joni Mae, and their children,”VNP officials stated. “Joni Mae served as Chief of Interpretation for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, recently retiring from her decades-long career with NPS.”