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Police officer shoots Kona man threatening suicide

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:15 a.m. HST, Jul 23, 2013

A 31-year-old Kona police officer Monday night shot a man in the shoulder who had threatened to kill himself with a rifle.

Hawaii County police said the shooting — involving an eight-year veteran of the police force — occurred at 9:08 p.m. on Manu Mele Street in Kailua-Kona. 

Police, responding to a report of an attempted suicide in progress at a Kailua-Kona home, found a 33-year-old man who was standing outside the house holding a rifle. Officers ordered the man to put the weapon down, but he refused and tried to use the rifle to harm himself, Hawaii County police said.

One officer fired his gun, striking the man in his right shoulder which caused him to drop the rifle, according to police. The man was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. 

No officers were injured. 

As is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting, criminal and administrative investigations into the shooting were initiated, police said.

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Police and Fire

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Grimbold wrote:
Praise the courage of the police officer and congratulate for his good aim which did not kill the criminal but disarm him.! The liberals want to completely incapacitate police.
on July 23,2013 | 07:31AM
8082062424 wrote:
i agree with you on the police did good. but since when is killing one self a crime . i know it seen as a sin but a crime? seem harsh to call some one a criminal
on July 23,2013 | 07:59AM
kahu808 wrote:
I'm sure the gunman caused alarm to the general public (hence the 911 call to police). Disorderly conduct is a crime, not to mention possible firearms violations. Well done HCPD.
on July 23,2013 | 09:20AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
So, if the policeman's shot were mortal, killing the man, would it be considered "assisted suicide"?
on July 23,2013 | 11:07AM
false wrote:
Now that's against the law.
on July 23,2013 | 12:54PM
sak wrote:
It's called suicide by cops.
on July 23,2013 | 03:25PM
Denominator wrote:
Suicide is definitely a crime - punishable by death!
on July 23,2013 | 02:23PM
Manoa2 wrote:
It was a risky decision, but may have been necessary if this guy could have been a threat to others. If a person is armed and will not put down a gun when ordered to by police, even if aimed at himself (he could have suddenly aimed and shot the police or anyone else there), police are justified in using deadly force. Normally that would mean shooting him in the chest with more than one shot. So this guy caught a break maybe.
on July 23,2013 | 08:37AM
RichardCory wrote:
Hurray for senselessly politicizing a non-political news story! Do you feel good about yourself now?
on July 23,2013 | 09:05AM
eoe wrote:
Grimbold is a sad sack.
on July 23,2013 | 09:38AM
honopic wrote:
Agree, eoe. Heavy on the "grim" and light on the "bold."
on July 24,2013 | 02:35PM
2_centz wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 23,2013 | 07:33AM
COlohe1 wrote:
Kona is an island??? Must be one of the ten major ones!!!
on July 23,2013 | 09:20AM
honopic wrote:
Yep. Right up there with Magic Island and Sand Island and.... what are the others, again?
on July 24,2013 | 02:37PM
allie wrote:
right move given the circumstances
on July 23,2013 | 08:02AM
SueH wrote:
Now the victim will sue over damage caused to his shoulder by the police officer's bullet.
on July 23,2013 | 08:05AM
false wrote:
Hopefully the settlement he reaches will go to some kind of counseling.
on July 23,2013 | 12:55PM
Hilofrank wrote:
Got "Irony?"
on July 23,2013 | 08:07AM
Psyche wrote:
Add a fubared shoulder to his already miserable existence, this guy had better find salvation, and FAST!
on July 23,2013 | 08:13AM
tiki886 wrote:
The officer took a big risk. Imagine if his aim wasn't so good?
on July 23,2013 | 08:28AM
kahu808 wrote:
If the officer didn't have the confidence to take such an accurate shot, he probably wouldn't have taken it. Ballsy move, and in the end, he saved the suspect's life.
on July 23,2013 | 09:15AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
He was aiming for his head. (I'm kidding!!!!)

Best wishes for the recovery of mentally ill person and the police officer who had to make a difficult call and made the best decision possible given given the risks.

on July 23,2013 | 11:08AM
stingray65 wrote:
Hawaii county now have to dish out the tax payers money for his hospital bills? Kalaheo, I know you are not kidding!! LOL The cop missed!!
on July 23,2013 | 11:33AM
SueH wrote:
If the officer's aim had been better, the guy would have been dead either way. Did you miss the part in the article that said "Officers ordered the man to put the weapon down, but he refused and tried to use the rifle to harm himself"? He's still alive now, with a messed up shoulder which taxpayers will forever be paying for. Sorry, but nobody wins here.
on July 23,2013 | 09:22AM
gobows wrote:
Since when are officers allowed to fire their guns when no one is being threatened? Unjustified.
on July 23,2013 | 10:05AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Let's see if the victim now sues the police! I'm sure our liberal justice system will side with him, awarding him $$$$.
on July 23,2013 | 11:08AM
stingray65 wrote:
gobows: which one is unjustified? When police officer tells you to drop the gun, he is not going to repeat himself!! That his chance to save life!! It could be the cop or the victim. That is a total gun control!! He hit what he aimed for!
on July 23,2013 | 11:37AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
One problem here is whose home this is. If it is his and he has permits and a Right to carry his rifle all he wants. If it is a friends house and the friend allows him to carry his rifle, he is within his rights to do so. When they came upon him, he was just carrying the rifle. Perfectly legal. He was not threatening anyone at that time. Why does he have to put his rifle down if he is not doing anything wrong. If one wants to be technical, he did put the rifle against himself, not wanting to hurt anyone. It is the Police that made an assumption that he wanted to kill himself. Even if that was the case, killing him to save him makes no sense. If a person is sitting on a bridge contemplating suicide, should the Police shoot that person? Push them off and assist their suicide? If a person holds a knife against his throat, should the Police shoot and kill him instead? It is only an assumption (unknown what is in one's mind) by the Police that he wanted to commit suicide. A threat is NOT a done deal. Suicide is a choice. Should the Police shoot a surfer that wants to ride a 50 foot wave and perceive (by the Police) that it is suicide to do so. Pointing a gun at one's self is a Right, not a Crime. (Stupidity is not a Crime too) The Police had no Right to shoot him for what he had a Constitutional Right to do. Sue the Officer, and the deep pocket. Pity.
on July 23,2013 | 01:07PM
honopic wrote:
You're right about one thing - stupidity is not a crime. Lucky for you, or you'd have been locked up long ago. Using a weapon to attempt harm, even to oneself, IS a crime, and the police response was justified. Sue the officer? How about thanking him for doing his job, to the best of his ability, given the situation.
on July 24,2013 | 02:48PM
scooters wrote:
There will be problems with this shoot. Other means should have been available..taser, bean bag shot gun,...only if the suspect had pointed the rifle at the officer would make this is good shoot.
on July 23,2013 | 04:47PM
honopic wrote:
When an officer tells an armed man to put the weapon down and the man refuses, everyone at the scene is being threatened. In this case, A shoulder wound was a reasonable end to the standoff.
on July 24,2013 | 02:43PM
littleyoboboy wrote:
job well done. this officer knew exactly what he was doing. executed to perfection.
on July 23,2013 | 12:50PM
onwardupward wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 23,2013 | 01:20PM
littleyoboboy wrote:
so the guy has a gun in his hand and your gonna choose to hold a taser in your hand ? hilarious
on July 23,2013 | 01:32PM
gobows wrote:
wasted a bullet
on July 23,2013 | 01:45PM
paradiddle wrote:
As an optimist...kudos to the police officer for preventing a possible suicide and the young man will fully recover and be grateful for the 2nd chance at life and receives the help he needs to lead a fulfilling life. As a pessimist...the young man will sue and win a large settlement from the City and County. The unfortunately police officer may lose his job or be demoted to a desk job. As a realist....who knows?
on July 23,2013 | 04:05PM
daniwitz13 wrote:
As well he should be. The Poilce should not shoot a man "attempting" to aim at himself. To shoot him is to help him kill himself, "If" that was what he wanted to do. Police should not Not assume something then shoot you to stop you from doing what THEY thought you were going to do. It is only by the grace of God, he was not killed. "THEY" always claim that they shoot at the mass, not for the legs or arms. Hitting the shoulder while shooting at the mass, could have been his head. Pity.
on July 23,2013 | 06:08PM
312guy wrote:
if he had comitted suicide in front of the police what would you be saying daniwitz13, either way in your eyes they would have done the wrong thing. bottom line hard decision hard shot, person lives.
on July 23,2013 | 07:22PM
tiki886 wrote:
If the Kona man really wanted to commit suicide, he easily could have done it by pointing his weapon at the cops - "suicide by cops".
on July 24,2013 | 09:38AM
tiki886 wrote:
If the Kona man really wanted to commit sui cide, he easily could have done it by pointing his weapon at the cops - "sui cide by cops".
on July 24,2013 | 09:38AM
Bully wrote:
You can have the guy wave a gun and threatining suicide. He may turn the gun on you and then fire a shot forcing you to kill him. The cop made the right decision to shoot the guy in the shoulder.
on July 24,2013 | 10:27AM
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