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Police release details of Puna hostage situation

A 33-year-old Pahoa man who allegedly shot himself in the face after an hours-long hostage situation in Puna was flown to Oahu for treatment.

The suspect was flown to Queen’s Medical Center from Hilo Medical Center Tuesday night. Police said his condition has been upgraded to serious condition from critical condition.

Just before 5:40 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of a shooting on Nohea Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision. Officers found a 25-year-old Keaau man on the roadside with multiple gunshot wounds to his body.

He was transported to Hilo Medical Center in stable condition.

Police said the victim and his 30-year-old female passenger were being followed by a blue sport utility vehicle operated by the suspect at Leilani Estates.

The two vehicles stopped on Nohea Street where the two men confronted one another.

An argument ensued and the suspect shot the victim several times. Police said the suspect then ordered the passenger to get into his vehicle.

The suspect and passenger are related.

After a police officer spotted the SUV turning into a driveway of a residence on Leilani Avenue, the officer exited his vehicle and walked toward the driveway when he heard several gunshots fired near the home.

The officer was uninjured.

He set up a perimeter with other responding officers. The Hawaii County Police Department’s Special Response Team also responded.

Police said the suspect barricaded himself in the home with the woman and four juvenile females ages 9 to 16. The girls and the suspect are also related.

Intermittent gunshots were fired at an unattended police vehicle during the standoff.

At 2 p.m. the suspect surrendered. Police said he exited the home and shot himself in the face with the rifle.

The hostages did not sustain any injuries.

Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder. Paramedics immediately transported him to Hilo Medical Center in critical condition.

Police later recovered the suspect’s firearm.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police at 935-3311 or Det. Grant Todd of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 961-2381 or e-mail Grant.Todd@hawaiicounty.gov.

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