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Hawaii County police officers fire shots as suspected vehicle thief speeds toward them

Hawaii County police officers fired multiple shots Sunday at a suspected vehicle thief after the man allegedly drove speedingtoward them in upper Puna Sunday.

Police said no one was injured in the shooting.

Police said at about 8:55 a.m. Sunday they found a man standing next to a stolen 2002 Toyota Tacoma on a roadway accessbetween Kopua Farm Lots and Fern Acres.

The officers recognized the man as a 32-year-old Puna man.

They gave him verbal commands, so they could take him into custody. Instead the man got into the truck and “drove at a highrate of speed toward the officers.”

They were standing on the roadway, with thick brush and debris on the shoulders.

The officers had nowhere to retreat, police said, and fired 13 shots at the pickup truck, hitting the hood and windshield.

The driver was the sole occupant, and was uninjured, police said.

Officers arrested him on suspicion of terroristic threatening.

Detectives recovered from inside the truck a .30-30 rifle, a .45-caliber pistol and 47.5 grams of a substance believed to becrystal methamphetamine, police said.

The two officers were placed on administrative leave, as is standard practice during an officer-involved shooting.

Police ask anyone with information to call police at 935-3311 or Lt. Miles Chong at 961-2252 or

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

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