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Gunshot hits woman’s car in Puna

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    At 12:24 a.m. Friday police responded to reports of gunshots on Highway 11 in Kurtistown.

Hawaii County police are investigating a shooting case in Puna.

At 12:24 a.m. Friday police responded to reports of gunshots on Highway 11 in Kurtistown.

Police said a 59-year-old Hilo woman was driving in the Volcano direction on Highway 11 when she passed a sedan stopped on the shoulder near the Herbert C. Shipman Park in Keaau.

The sedan then pulled onto the road and quickly approached the woman’s vehicle from behind. After the woman pulled off the highway near Olaa Road to allow the sedan to pass, she heard several gunshots coming from the sedan. One of the shots struck her vehicle, she said. She was not injured.

The suspect’s vehicle is a white four-door sedan. It was last seen heading in the Volcano direction from Kurtistown on Highway 11.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Jesse Kerr at 961-2377 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide CrimeStoppers number, 961-8300.

Brush fire in Kunia contained

Firefighters contained a brush fire that scorched about 400 acres in Kunia.

Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. David Jenkins said the fire that started Thursday was “100 percent contained” just before 4:50 a.m. Friday.

There were no reports of injuries or damage to structures.

More than 45 firefighters and 19 units responded to the blaze. Three helicopters also assisted with water drops to protect about 20 homes.

Jenkins said 19 firefighters and six companies stayed at the scene overnight to battle the fire.

Early morning rain played a major factor in containment, Jenkins said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Man charged in Kau burglary

Hawaii County police Thursday charged a 31-year-old man in connection with a residential burglary in Kau.

Mario Espino and a 26-year-old woman, both of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, were arrested Tuesday after a burglary was reported in the 92-1400 block of Aloha Boulevard in their neighborhood.

Police identified Espino after reviewing video surveillance footage, and later learned the woman allegedly assisted in the burglary.

They were found in a nearby home on Hula Lane. Detectives executed a search warrant at the Hula Lane home, where they found and recovered the stolen items.

Espino was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, fourth-degree theft and habitual property crime. His bail was set at $7,250.

The woman was released pending investigation.

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