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Suspect arrested in shooting of two police officers in Hilo

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:30 p.m. HST, Jan 3, 2013

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Hawaii County police said they have arrested a 31-year-old Hilo man as the suspect in the shooting of two police officers Wednesday evening in Hilo.

Police said law enforcement officers found the suspect with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at a home in Hilo. 

A 20-person team of police officers, sheriff’s deputies and FBI agents found the suspect with a gunshot wound to the chest when they entered the home.

Police arrested him on suspicion of first-degree murder and took him to Hilo Medical Center. He was identified as Keaka Martin.

The two police officers were responding to a report of shots fired near the Wailoa River in Hilo when they were shot by a man hiding under a parked vehicle.

Hawaii County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri said both officers had undergone surgery at Hilo Medical Center and were in stable condition. 

Police conducted an extensive manhunt for the shooting suspect — described as 30- to 40-year-old man, 5 foot 6 to 5 foot 8, 160 pounds with short dark hair, a light beard and many tattoos — who was last seen wearing dark pants and shoes with no shirt.

The two officers were checking parked vehicles along Kilauea Avenue in response to a report of gunshots when they were ambushed by the suspect, police said. According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, the shooting took place near Pono Place, formerly the old Green Onion bar and restaurant. Police said both officers were hit, but one of them was able to return fire.

The suspect fled the area on foot. It was not immediately known if he was injured.

The officers, one 40 years old and the other 31 years old, suffered gunshot wounds to their legs.

Police spokeswoman Chris Loos said  the last time a department police officer was shot was in 1997. Injuries in that shooting also were nonfatal.

Police ask that anyone with information about the incident or suspect call Det. Grant Todd at (808) 961-2385 or email him at Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 in Hilo or (808) 329-8181 in Kona.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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