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Police shoot suspect in Keaau

  • HPD

    Suspect Stephen Joshua Whitney

A Hawaii County police officer fatally shot a 30-year-old attempted murder suspect Friday afternoon in Keaau.

Police said the officer-involved shooting occurred 4 p.m. Friday on Highway 11.

Police identified the man as Stephen Joshua Whitney of Hilo, who was being sought by police Friday in the stabbing of a woman during a domestic dispute on Banyan Drive in Hilo.

Officers were making checks for a stolen pickup truck connected to an attempted murder investigation and found it parked in the Hilo-bound lane of Highway 11 in the Shipman Industrial Park area of Keaau.

It was facing in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic.

The Hawaii County fire department said firefighters responded to a man wounded by gunshots on Highway 11.

They found police doing compressions on a man who was lying on the shoulder of the highway with two gunshot wounds to the torso.

The Fire Department took over treatment from police and continued cardiopulmonary resuscitation until medics arrived. The man was transported to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the officers approached and the driver failed to obey the officer’s orders.

“The suspect drove forward, gunning his engine heading toward another officer,” police said in a news release.

Police had been searching the island for Whitney Friday after he allegedly stabbed a 41-year-old woman sometime before 8:21 a.m. at a Banyan Drive apartment complex in the 100 block of that street.

Police said the woman had severe cuts, and was initially in critical condition when she was taken to Hilo Medical Center, but improved to serious but stable condition.

Police then responded at 9:02 a.m. to a call from road surveyors who saw a man exit a Honda, get into their gray Nissan Frontier pickup truck with a camper top and drive off.

The officer who fired the gun has three years of experience with police, and will be placed on administrative leave, as is standard practice. The Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation into the shooting by police, and the Criminal Investigation Section will conduct a criminal investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or email

Anonymous tips may be made to CrimeStoppers at 961-8300.

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