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Suspect in fatal Punaluu shooting appears in court; victim is identified

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Ray T.K. Sheldon, also known as Raymond Sheldon appeared in court today on murder charges.

A 43-year-old man accused in a deadly shooting of a 31-year-old man in Punaluu made his initial court appearance at Honolulu District Court today.

Ray T.K. Sheldon, also known as Raymond Sheldon, appeared before Judge Melanie May after prosecutors charged him Monday with second-degree murder in connection with the death of the victim identified in court documents as Hansen Apo.

His aggregate bail is set at $1 million.

Attorney Howard Luke made a special appearance in court on behalf of Sheldon where he objected to the bail amount describing it as “extraordinarily high,” particularly because Sheldon has no prior criminal record.

“I think there’s strong indications of self-defense in this case and that he has voluntarily contacted the police department to assist him in the resolution of this matter either through himself directly or through family members,” Luke said during the hearing.

Police responded to a report of “suspicious circumstances” at about 10:55 p.m. Friday after witnesses reported hearing gunshots in the area of 53-216 C Kamehameha Highway where Sheldon resides.

When officers arrived at the property, they observed blood and several shell casings on the ground, according to court documents released today that revealed details of the shooting.

Police said Sheldon and Apo were not located at the scene.

A witness in the area told police she saw a lowered white truck stop near Sheldon’s residence followed by a “muzzle flash.” She heard about five gunshots and the truck flee toward the highway.

Police dispatch then received a call of a report of a white Dodge Durango ridden with bullet holes in the parking lot of the Aloha gas station across of the Windward City Shopping Center.

Detectives responded and observed multiple bullet holes to the vehicle’s passenger side doors and rear door windows. Blood was also observed on the interior driver side front door.

Court documents said a man told police that he, Apo and a woman drove to Sheldon’s home where Sheldon allegedly started shooting at them. Apo then exited the vehicle and dropped to the ground.

The man fled the scene in the Dodge which reportedly belonged to Apo and left the vehicle at the gas station parking lot.

At about 1:30 p.m. the next day, a witness reported a body of a male, later identified as Apo, found with traumatic injuries in a wooded area near the scene.

Court documents said Sheldon at some point called police and said he wanted to turn himself in. He told police Apo arrived at his house in a Dodge Durango with his high beam headlights on and allegedly drove toward Sheldon, striking his left leg with the vehicle.

Apo exited the vehicle and allegedly reached into the driver’s side front door. Police said Sheldon continued to discharge gunshots at Apo.

He then dragged Apo’s body to the back of his home and fled the scene. Court documents said Sheldon told police “he thought Apo was on drugs and was going to rob him.”

Police placed Sheldon under arrest at the main police headquarters shortly before 3:50 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of murder.

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