Suspect in officer’s killing dies in police shootout; another officer hurt but ‘should be OK’
August 20, 2018 | 89° | Check Traffic

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Suspect in officer’s killing dies in police shootout; another officer hurt but ‘should be OK’

  • PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Police killed Justin Joshua Waiki, left, in a shootout today. The 33-year-old was a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Hawaii island police officer Bronson Kaliloa, right, in Mountain View Tuesday night.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / crussell@staradvertiser.com

    An ambulance speeds along Highway 11 with a police escort following a shootout between Hawaii Police Department officers and Justin Waiki this afternoon.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / crussell@staradvertiser.com

    A convoy of police vehicles approached the roadblock at South Point and Kamaoa roads today in the South Point area.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / crussell@staradvertiser.com

    A gray Tacoma pickup truck was towed away from a property on Kealamakua Place in Honaunau on the west side of Hawaii island this morning. Police chased down the allegedly stolen pickup Thursday night and arrested the occupants after receiving a tip that fugitive Justin Waiki was in the pickup. However, Waiki was not found with the two car-theft suspects. Waiki was accused of killing Hawaii police officer Bronson K. Kaliloa.

  • ANDREW GOMES / agomes@staradvertiser.com

    Hawaii island police officers gather outside Hilo Medical Center where a fellow officer was being treated for gunshot wounds received in the shootout that killed fugitive Justin Waiki this afternoon in the South Point area.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / crussell@staradvertiser.com

    Vehicles were redirected at a roadblock at South Point and Kamaoa roads during this afternoon’s investigation in the South Point area.

  • COURTESY HAWAII COUNTY POLICE

    Harvey Damo Jr., left, and Shevylyn Klaus were arrested Thursday night on suspicion of car theft, as police followed up on a tip that fugitive Justin Waiki was in a pickup truck in Kailua-Kona.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / crussell@staradvertiser.com

    A gray Tacoma pickup truck was towed away from a property on Kealamakua Place in Honaunau on the west side of Hawaii island this morning. Police chased down the allegedly stolen pickup Thursday night and arrested the occupants after receiving a tip that fugitive Justin Waiki was in the pickup. However, Waiki was not found with the two car-theft suspects. Waiki was accused of killing Hawaii police officer Bronson K. Kaliloa.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / crussell@staradvertiser.com

    Elise Trapp spoke on her cell phone outside of a police barricade along Mamalahoa Highway on Thursday night, near Honaunau on the Big Island. Trapp witnessed a male and a female being arrested at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway and Middle Keei Road while driving at about 10:30 pm.

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Update 5:40 p.m.

The Hawaii Police Department, acting on information received about fugitive Justin Waiki, stopped and searched an SUV at a checkpoint set up in the South Point area in the Kau district at about 2:45 p.m., when Waiki opened fire wounding a sergeant with 12 years of service. The officer was taken by Fire Rescue to the Hilo Medical Center, where he is in stable condition.

Other officers shot and killed Waiki and wounded a female hiding in the SUV. She was also taken to the Hilo hospital. Her condition is unknown.

Police said three other individuals at the scene who allegedly aided Waiki were arrested on suspicion of hindering prosecution in the first degree. They remain in custody.

Update 5:24 p.m.

The Hawaii island officer injured in today’s shootout with the now-deceased fugitive Justin Waiki is in stable condition and “should be OK,” according to Malcolm Lutu, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers.

Lutu did not know the identity of the officer who was shot in the arm and “shoulder-chest” area. The officer is being treated at the Hilo Medical Center where family, police Chief Paul Ferreira and fellow officers have gathered.

Update 4:40 p.m.

The officer injured in today’s shootout with fugitive Justin Waiki was shot twice, said a Hawaii County Police Department spokesman.

The officer was shot in the arm and in the “shoulder-chest” area, said the spokesman. He did not know the condition of the officer, who was taken to Hilo Medical Center by medevac.

The spokesman confirmed that a third person, a woman who was with Waiki, was also shot and is being treated at the Hilo hospital. He gave no further details on the woman or her condition.

Waiki was killed in the shootout this afternoon in the South Point region of the island’s Kau District.

Hawaii police have closed Kamaoa Road as part of the ongoing investigation.

Update 3:40 p.m.

The suspect in the fatal shooting of a Hawaii island police officer on Tuesday was killed this afternoon in a South Point-area shootout with police in which another officer was wounded.

Sources told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the officer was shot in the arm and his condition was not immediately known. He was medevaced to Hilo Medical Center.

In addition to the police officer and suspect, a woman reportedly was also shot, although a Hawaii Police Department spokesman said he couldn’t immediately confirm that.

Police have been chasing Justin Waiki since he shot police officer Bronson K. Kaliloa during a traffic stop Tuesday night in the Mountain View area. Kaliloa died in Hilo Medical Center early Wednesday.

Today’s shootout ends an intensive manhunt on the Big Island, which included reward offers totaling $30,000 from several federal law enforcement agencies.

Update: 2:30 p.m.

Hawaii Police Department detectives are still trying to determine whether Justin Waiki, the suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer, had been with two people who were later arrested following an officer-involved shooting Thursday night in Kailua-Kona.

Department spokesman Alan Richmond said they are “still investigating that relationship” between Waiki and Harvey Damo, Jr. and Shevylyn Klaus, both 25 of Hilo, who were arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft involving a Toyota pickup truck.

“Word is they somehow had contact with him or were associated in some way,” he said.

Lt. Sherry Bird, a detective in the criminal investigation section, added: “We’re still working to confirm if he was or wasn’t there. I don’t want to call it a case of mistaken identity. The information that was given to us is what we had to work with at the time.”

Update: 10:20 a.m.

Police today confirmed the arrest of two people after an officer-involved shooting in Kailua-Kona during the pursuit of Justin Waiki, the suspect in the fatal shooting of a Big Island police officer earlier this week.

Harvey Damo, Jr. and Shevylyn Klaus, both 25 of Hilo, were arrested on suspicion of theft in the second-degree involving a Toyota pickup truck.

Damo received medical treatment at the Kona Community Hospital for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound and was released from the hospital into police custody. He and Klaus remain in custody at the Kealakehe police station pending an investigation, police said.

The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave as is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting, police said.

Hawaii Island Maj. Sam Thomas gave the following account of Thursday night’s pursuit and arrest: Police received a tip at about 4:58 p.m. that Waiki might be inside a pickup truck in a parking lot on Henry Street in Kailua-Kona. At 5:19 p.m., officers spotted a pickup truck near Kahaluu Beach in Kailua-Kona matching the description of the vehicle.

They approached the vehicle and observed a man in the driver’s seat and a woman in the passenger’s seat.

Police ordered them to exit the vehicle when the driver allegedly sped toward the officers. Thomas said an officer discharged three gunshots at the pickup truck as it continued to flee.

The pickup truck was traveling westbound on Napoopoo Road when it drove toward another officer. The officer discharged 10 rounds at the vehicle.

Thomas said the vehicle continued to flee and was eventually abandoned in a private coffee field in Honaunau. The occupants fled on foot.

Officers scoured the area and arrested the man and woman, now identified as Damo and Klaus.

Update: 9:50 a.m.

Hawaii island police towed a bullet-ridden pickup truck this morning from a private road in the area where they were pursuing Justin Waiki, the suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer.

The gray Toyota Tacoma truck was towed away from a property on Kealamakua Place in Honaunau. Multiple bullet holes could be seen in the truck. Police were pursuing a tip that Waiki was in the area Thursday night and residents reported hearing gunshots during the pursuit. Waiki was not found.

The manhunt continues today for Waiki, who allegedly gunned down Hawaii island police officer Bronson K. Kaliloa during a traffic stop Tuesday night. Kaliloa died early Wednesday morning in Hilo Medical Center. Federal law agencies have offered $30,000 for the capture and arrest of Waiki.

Update: 7:05 a.m.

Hawaii island police said all roads in the area of Honaunau area were reopened after midnight today following the arrest of two people on suspicion of auto theft.

Update: 2:30 a.m.

Hawaii island resident Elise Trapp said that she witnessed a male and a female being arrested at the intersection of Mamalahoa Highway and Middle Keei Road while driving at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier, residents had reported about shots being fired at police from a fleeing Tacoma truck in the forested community.

Speaking to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser down the road from a police barricade along Mamalahoa Highway, near Honaunau, Trapp described the arrest scene, saying, “She walks out, and she’s handcuffed, and they put her down on the ground, and the girl is on the mauka side of the road and the dude is on the makai side of the road and he’s like covered in blood. Head to toe, like head to toe, handcuffed like this, (gestures), and the girl is on the other side of the road handcuffed. And then the ambulance pulls up in the middle of them and there’s cops everywhere.”

Trapp saw the woman being led to the ambulance and was told by police to leave the scene and head south where she became stranded with other motorists until the barricade was lifted at around 12:30 a.m.

>> Related coverage: Gunshots are fired during pursuit of officer’s suspected killer

Thursday’s coverage

Hawaii island police are in active pursuit of Justin Waiki, the man wanted for the fatal shooting of a police officer on Tuesday.

Waiki, 33, was reportedly spotted driving a gray Toyota Tacoma up Napoopoo Road in Honaunau with multiple police cars in pursuit around 6 p.m. today.

The suspect later abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Police advised residents in the vicinity of Honaunau Elementary School to remain indoors and lock their doors.

Napoopoo Road resident Kawai DeBina said she saw the Tacoma pass her house with at two police vehicles chasing it and heard at least six rounds of gunfire. She said she was not sure who fired the shots.

“We just ducked,” DePina said of herself and her family. “We’re just 100 feet from the road and we didn’t want to get hit. It was so scary.”

Police were maintaining a perimeter near the school as of 8 p.m.


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Kristen Consillio, Cindy Ellen Russell, Rosemarie Bernardo, Michael Tsai, Tim Hurley and Andrew Gomes contributed to this report.


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