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Police use gas to remove man from home, ending hours-long standoff in Pacific Palisades

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  • Video by Craig T. Kojima and Leila Fujimori

    An armed and wounded man with a long criminal history barricaded himself in his ex-girlfriend's Pacific Palisades house Thursday morning in a standoff with police that continued late into the night.


    Honolulu Police were at a standoff Thursday with Wayman Kaua, who was barricaded in a home on Apoepoe Street in Pearl City. Kaua fired random shots from the home and sustained a gunshot wound earlier in the day.


    Police blocked off part of Komo Mai Drive this morning as they conducted an investigation.


    Wayman Kaua holds his wife at gunpoint on the balcony of a home on Waimano Home Road on Oct. 30, 1998. Kaua’s daughter said her father is the shooter in today’s standoff with police in Pearl City.

  • FILE PHOTO / 1998

    Wayman Kaua, seen in photo from Oct. 1998, was identified as the man who barricaded himself in a Pacific Palisades house today.


    A police officer led a man past a checkpoint Thursday at Komo Mai Drive and Aupaka Street in Pacific Palisades.


A 15-hour standoff in Pearl City ended at about midnight today after a 51-year-old man who barricaded himself in a home surrendered to police.

Wayman Kaua exited the home after the Honolulu Police Department’s Specialized Services Division deployed “less-than-lethal” gas into a home he occupied, according to police spokeswoman Michelle Yu in an emailed statement released today.

Officers took Kaua into custody and Emergency Medical Services personnel at the scene treated him for a non-life-threatening gunshot injuries and gas exposure.

Police arrested him on suspicion of two counts of first-degree attempted murder. Charges are pending.

Police initially responded to reports of a gunshots fired in the area of Apoepoe Street in Pacific Palisades at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday.

When they arrived, they saw a male identified by family members and residents as Kaua with a firearm in front of the home.

“The male refused to put down the gun and pointed it at one of the officers. The officer fired at and struck the suspect,” Yu said.

Kaua barricaded himself in the home for approximately 15 hours. During the standoff, police said he discharged multiple shots from the home.

Several individuals in the home as well as nearby residents were evacuated, Yu said.

Police instructed other residents in the neighborhood to stay indoors until the standoff ended.

UPDATE: 4:40 a.m.

Police took into custody a 51-year-old man, ending a standoff in Pearl City that lasted more than 12 hours.

Officers took Wayman Kaua into custody sometime before 11:30 p.m., police said today. He was taken to a hospital to be treated for an injury.

Kaua’s daughter had indicated her father sustained a gunshot wound to his stomach.

Police initially responded to a report of gunshots fired at a home on Apoepoe Street at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday.

A shelter that the American Red Cross opened at the Pearl City District Park gym for residents who could not return home Thursday because of the standoff has since closed as of 4 a.m.


An armed and wounded man with a long criminal history barricaded himself in his ex-girlfriend’s Pacific Palisades house today in a 12-hour standoff that continued into the night.

Police warned the public in the area to take cover earlier in the day because the shooter had been firing random shots.

The standoff with police affected many of the same Pacific Palisades residents who were trapped in or out of their homes back in 1998 when the same man barricaded himself in another home in a nearby area of Pearl City.

Family members of Wayman Kaua pleaded late in the afternoon with police to allow him to come out because “he’s dying and on his last breath and bleeding out,” but police refused to allow them to go to him.

Kaua’s son’s girlfriend, Abcde Barboza, made the emotional plea, and with his son was trying to get past the police at the intersection of Komo Mai Drive and Aupaka Street.

His daughter Shine Kaua, 24, said her father was released from prison in March and that he and the 61-year-old woman had been together for some time.

She said her father had been shot by police in the stomach and that his lung also was affected, and that he was “bleeding out.”

Police allowed a voice recording by his son to be sent to him, she said.

The family has been in contact with Kaua. “He’s good. He’s a good dad,” Shine Kaua said.

The family remained as darkness fell and into the night. Police continued to use a bullhorn to talk to Kaua at least 12 hours later. Neighbors said he was in the upstairs portion of the house.

This morning Kaua showed up at the ex-girlfriend’s home, which she shares with her extended family, asking to see her, said her sister.

The sister, who asked not to be named, said she and other family members went out to talk to Kaua to calm him down before they knew he had a gun. “We just didn’t want my sister to come out,” she said.

She said her sister knew Kaua from before but that she had changed her lifestyle and found God.

She said Kaua fired a shot into her sister’s car but never threatened anyone with the gun. They had not been arguing, but he was yelling from the outside trying to talk to her.

It didn’t appear that he was trying to harm anyone, she said. “He’s not in his right mind now,” she said.

She convinced him to leave but he returned, she said.

Also at home were two young men and a baby girl. The rest of the family was at work or school.

The family, including the girlfriend, was able to leave the house unharmed, leaving Kaua alone in the house.

“We’re hoping for a good outcome, that he comes out alive,” she said in the afternoon.

Police closed a section of Komo Mai Drive above Pearl City. Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said residents who live between Komo Mai Drive and Apoepoe and Aupaka streets were not allowed in or out of their homes.

She said police responded to an Apoepoe Street home at about 8:40 a.m. after residents reported hearing gunshots.

Keke Manera said she and other residents who live near the house where the gunshots were discharged sought shelter at another neighbor’s house soon after they heard the initial shots this morning.

Manera said she was inside her home when she heard an argument coming from the residence next door. She then heard a gunshot. “It was very loud,” Manera said. Two more shots followed.

After she heard a vehicle leave the residence, she stepped outside to check on her neighbors. When police arrived, she saw Kaua in a vehicle speed toward the home.

Manera said police shot at Kaua before he barricaded himself in the home.

Manera and her 96-year-old grandmother, who uses a wheelchair, and other neighbors fled to another neighbor’s house in a cul-de-sac on Apoepoe Place.

When the SWAT team arrived, officers directed them to stay indoors. Shaken by the situation, Manera remained inside her neighbor’s home as of 5 p.m. “It has been a very crazy morning and day.”

The Hawaii Red Cross opened a shelter at the Palisades Recreation Center for residents who could not return home, and later another in Pearl City.

Kaua has a long criminal history dating to 1988, with about a dozen felony convictions ranging from manslaughter to robbery and various misdemeanor offenses, according to state records.

This is the second time that Kaua has had a violent standoff with police in the Pearl City area.

On Oct. 30, 1998, a police sharpshooter shot Kaua in the chest as he was holding his wife, Chanel Kaua, at gunpoint at 1938 Waimano Home Road. A SWAT team had stormed the house.

The shooting happened after a 22-hour standoff that stranded hundreds of residents and closed several area schools.

Kaua fired at least 17 shots from an assault rifle during the standoff, which started when police went to the home seeking Kaua, who was wanted for parole violations.

Kaua recovered from his gunshot wound and was sentenced to life in prison, but the sentence was later overturned.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling that the state’s use of a law allowing judges to impose extended prison terms was unconstitutional.

Mark Nakagawa, 62, recalled the 1998 standoff in which the Army “sent in a personnel carrier to move the kids out of The Children’s House,” an area school. Although Kaua was in a home off Waimano Home Road, the entire Pacific Palisades community was trapped for a day and a half. This afternoon and 21 years later, Nakagawa also was unable to return home, adding that the gunman has a clear view of his house from the balcony of the house he is in.

Neighbors said he was pointing the gun at people leaving their homes to go to work, he said.

The 1998 standoff was not Kaua’s first.

He barricaded himself, his then-pregnant girlfriend and her infant son for three hours in 1990 in an Ewa Beach home when police tried to serve him with a probation violation warrant, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported. That standoff ended peacefully.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporters Rob Perez and Rosemarie Bernardo contributed to this report.

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