A 30-year-old Hilo man is in custody following an officer-involved shooting on Saturday in the Puna district of Hawaii island.
A police officer fired a round at Michael T. Soares while he was trying to flee from responders who were investigating a report from an Ihope Road resident that Soares was passed out in a Ford Explorer parked nearby with the engine running. No injuries were sustained but the officer who fired his weapon, a 13-year veteran of the Hawaii Police Department, has been placed on paid leave while routine criminal and administrative investigations are conducted, according to a statement from police.
The shooting took place around 8:15 a.m. in Mountain View after officers arrived and discovered the Explorer’s ignition had been hot-wired. According to police, officers woke Soares and ordered him to turn off the engine and step outside the vehicle.
“However, he refused and instead floored the gas pedal, lurching forward and slamming into the garage of the residence. The suspect then shifted into reverse and recklessly backed up the driveway at a high rate of speed, heading directly toward an ambulance, two firemen and the resident who were standing near the top of the driveway,” the statement said.
One of two officers on the scene fired once through the windshield of the vehicle as Soares was reversing. The suspect ducked down behind the dashboard and the Explorer became lodged between the house, the ambulance and some brush. Soares then surrendered and was arrested.
Soares, who was being held at the Hilo police detention center, was arrested for reckless endangering, criminal property damage, criminal trespassing and a “no bail” probation revocation warrant.
Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Detective Bobbie-Jo Sagon at 808-961-2375.