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Kahului standoff ends peacefully in arrest

Attempted murder suspect Josiah Okudara, 22, was barricaded for a third day

By Gregg K. Kakesako

and Leila Fujimori

LAST UPDATED: 4:17 p.m. HST, Aug 12, 2011

The stand-off between Maui police and a 22 year-old attempted murder suspect has ended.

Suspect Josiah Okudara, who barricaded himself in the Opukea Street home Wednesday, surrendered peacefully, sources said.

Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said Okudara emerged from the house about 3:05 p.m. and surrendered without resistance. Okudara was not wearing a shirt and his hands were bound behind his back when officers put him into a police car and drove off, Antone said.

Okudara appeared uninjured, Antone said.

Officials believe he was the only person in the house, Antone said.

The standoff began about 1 p.m. Wednesday. There had been two incidents where shots were fired. Both times they came from inside the house and Maui police did not return fire.

Maui police spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra said shots were fired in the home at 8:22 p.m. Thursday. Several shots were also fired "inside the residence" Wednesday night after police established a perimeter around the house.

There was no one else in the Kahului home besides Okudara after a man walked out Thursday afternoon. Early Thursday morning, two females and a child also left the residence voluntarily, he said.

Maria Lutz,  Red Cross director of disaster services, said 25 area residents, who were evacuated Wednesday spent the their second night at the emergency shelter at the Kahului Community Center Annex on Uhu Street.

"There are cots set up there," she said, "and we are providing meals."

MPD's SWAT team set up a perimeter around the house and evacuated several surrounding houses. Police had power to the home cut off and closed Hoomoku Street.

All schools in surrounding area were open Thursday and this morning, the state Department of Education reported.

Okudara is wanted on two grand jury warrants totaling $550,000.

He is sought for the July 2010 shooting of a man in Wailuku. After a year of eluding law enforcement Okudara was tracked down by U.S. marshals to the Opukea Street house.

In May, Maui police and CrimeStoppers asked for the public's help in finding Okudara. He was indicted for first-degree attempted murder in the shooting of a 30-year-old man following what witnesses described as a confrontation between several people on Olena Street in Wailuku at about 10:30 p.m. on July 24, 2010. The victim suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh.

Okudara is wanted on two grand jury warrants totaling $550,000.

Okudara also is wanted as a "person of interest" in a car crash that killed 22-year-old Tiare Franco, of Haiku, on May 14. Franco was thrown from a pickup truck that plunged 75 feet down a cliff off Kahekili Highway near Waihee Elementary School. The truck was traveling north on Kahekili Highway when it failed to negotiate a left curve and plunged off a steep embankment, police said.

Okudara is 5 feet, 6 inches, 180 pounds, and has a 96793 tattoo on his neck.

Okudara has been convicted of misdemeanor offenses for resisting an order to stop while operating a vehicle, driving without a license and third-degree criminal property damage. His record also includes three petty misdemeanors for harassment, reckless driving and fourth-degree criminal property damage.

This week's barricade situation is the most dramatic on the island in recent years.

One of the most high-profile confrontations took place 14 years ago when Daniel Kosi and his girlfriend, Jennifer Kong-Guillermo barricaded themselves in a Kihei condominium complex for 24 hours on Aug. 14, 1997. Seventeen-year-old Aisha Tolentino of Lanai died after being stabbed 16 times in the neck and throat before the standoff ended. Police stormed the condominium after finding Tolentino's body in the hallway.

Kosi was convicted of murdering the girl. Kong-Guillermo agreed to testify against Kosi, who is serving multiple life terms after being convicted of that murder and a previoius murder. In exchange for her testimony, Kong-Guillermo had charges of murder and attempted murder dismissed and she pleaded no contest to two reduced counts of kidnapping.

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