East Hawaii News

Police: Child Killed in Apparent Gun Accident

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Big Island police are investigating following an apparent gun accident during the weekend that involved a child.

The Hawai‘i Police Department has initiated a coroner’s inquest investigation following a reported shooting accident the afternoon of Aug. 28. Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Hāmākua patrol officers responded to the Camp Honokāia Boy Scout Camp near Honoka‘a for a report of an unconscious child following a shooting incident.

Responding officers and Hawai‘i Fire Department personnel located the lifeless child near the rifle range. The child appeared to have a single gunshot wound. Because of the extent of his injury, the child was not transported by rescue. He was later transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he was officially pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m.

The victim’s identity is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 30, to determine the exact cause of death.

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Hawai‘i Police Department Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene and are continuing to investigate. Extensive interviews with all children and adults who were present at the time of the incident are ongoing.

At this time, police do not suspect foul play.

“It was with heavy hearts that we learned of the tragic passing of one of our young Boy Scouts yesterday in Honokaʻa,” Mayor Mitch Roth said Monday afternoon, Aug. 29, in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of grieving, as we remain hopeful that they will one day find peace. No family should have to suffer the pain of losing a child, and we hope this incident can help increase firearm safety awareness so that other families will not have to suffer the same tragedy. With that, we’d like to ask all of our residents to keep the young man’s family in their thoughts as they face a new journey ahead.” 

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Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the police department’s nonemergency line at 808-935-3311 or Detective Jeremy Kubojiri with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2378 or via email at [email protected].

Those who want to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 808-961-8300.

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