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Second HPD Officer Placed on Administrative Leave Following Discharge of Firearm

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A second Hawai‘i police officer is on administrative after discharging his firearm during an incident in Kona, Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred shortly after 5:20 p.m. Officers from the Area II Vice Section were conducting operations at a business establishment in the 73-5000 block of Olowalu Street when they observed several individuals exiting the business with a large quantity of high-value items. The individuals appeared to be trying to quickly load the items into a vehicle and leave the area.

“Officers attempted to contact the parties to further investigate the incident,” HPD stated in a release this afternoon. “As officers approached the vehicle and identified themselves as police officers, the driver of the vehicle abruptly reversed in an attempt to flee the area. Officers ran after the vehicle, which stopped, and they attempted to make contact a second time. As officers again identified themselves as police officers and attempted to remove the parties from the vehicle an officer’s service weapon was discharged.”

All occupants were removed from the vehicle and subsequently arrested for theft. They currently remain at the Kealakehe Police Station pending the completion of this investigation.

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None of the officers or suspects were injured during the confrontation with the vehicle or from the weapon discharge.

The officer who discharged his weapon is a seven-year veteran of the department. As is standard procedure, the officer was placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the administrative investigation.

Detectives from the Office of Professional Standards are also conducting an independent administrative investigation as a result of the weapon discharge.

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This is the second officer to fire his weapon while responding to an incident within a week on the Big Island. The first occurred when an officer shot a man in downtown Hilo who walked toward police while holding a knife. The 14-year veteran officer who fired his weapon is also on administrative leave.

Anyone who may have seen the incident or may have any other information about this incident is asked to call Detective Sheldon Nakamoto at 808-326-4646 ext. 228 or email [email protected]

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