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Suspect Charged With Attempted Murder After Incident With Police

September 30, 2021, 5:32 PM HST
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Larry Kamalii. PC: HPD

The Hawai‘i Police Department (HPD) has leveled charges of attempted murder against a suspect after a violent encounter with Big Island police.

HPD has arrested and charged 39-year-old Larry Kalei Kamalii Jr. with first degree attempted murder and an array of firearms offenses following what the department described as an armed confrontation with officers on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021.

On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after 1:30 pm, Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel observed a vehicle obstructing the roadway on Kea Road (Road B) in Hawaiian Acres. As officers approached the vehicle to see if the occupants needed assistance, they identified Kamalii seated in the driver’s seat. Officers were familiar with Kamalii, a report from the department said, and were aware that he had several outstanding warrants. The officers also knew the suspect was to be considered armed and dangerous, the department said.

Officers contacted Kamalii and identified themselves, the report said. Officers then informed him that he was under arrest, and opened the door to affect the what the department described as a lawful arrest. Kamalii immediately resisted by pulling away, police said, and turned his body toward the center console of the vehicle and grabbed a shotgun.

Kamalii reportedly pointed the firearm toward officers, with his finger within the trigger well. After a brief struggle with Kamalii for the firearm, officers were able to breech the firearm, preventing Kamalii from firing it. This allowed officers to gain control of the weapon and place Kamalii under arrest, police said. Officers later determined the firearm was loaded and operable.

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The suspect was also arrested for three outstanding warrants with a total bail of $4,700.

A front seat passenger in the vehicle, 32-year-old Nicole Saua Himphill of Kurtistown, was arrested for an outstanding grand jury indictment warrant and first-degree hindering prosecution. While officers were attempting to arrest Kamalii, Himphill physically grabbed on to him and attempted to obstruct officers and prevent them from gaining control of Kamalii to arrest him, according to a police report.

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Police recovered the vehicle Kamalii was operating and towed it to the Hilo Police Station. On Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 29, detectives executed a search warrant on the vehicle and recovered over 100 rounds of ammunition for the firearm Kamalii had in his possession.

Detectives conducted extensive background checks on the firearm in local, state, and federal databases. However, authorities were unable to trace it or identify a current or previous legal registered owner. The weapon had been cut down and modified to reduce its overall length, which made it more concealable, police said.     

Himphill appeared in Hilo District Court Wednesday on the warrant charge, where she was granted supervised release. After conferral with Hawai‘i County prosecutors, she was released pending further investigation on the hindering prosecution offense.

Kamalii made his initial court appearance for the warrants on Wednesday. His bail was maintained and he was remanded to the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center (HCCC).

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On Thursday morning, after conferring with prosecutors, Kamalii was charged with first-degree attempted murder, four counts ownership/possession firearm and/or ammunition prohibited, first-degree terroristic threatening, carrying or use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, place to keep loaded firearm, carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway, and first-degree attempted assault of a law enforcement officer.

Total bail for these charges is set at $705,000.

Kamalii remains in custody at HCCC pending his initial court appearance for the above charges, which is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1, in Hilo District Court. 

HPD said it regularly works in conjunction with federal authorities. Those federal authorities are looking at this case due to the severity of the offenses and based on the extensive violent criminal history of Kamalii, police said.

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