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Man arrested in Pearl City standoff appears in court

  • Rosemarie Bernardo

    A 51-year-old man charged in connection with a 15-hour standoff in Pearl City made his initial appearance Monday in Honolulu District Court.


    Wayman K. Kaua, 51, made his initial appearance in Honolulu District Court today.

A 51-year-old man charged in connection with a 15-hour standoff in Pearl City made his initial appearance Monday in Honolulu District Court.

Wayman K. Kaua did not speak when he appeared before Judge Melanie May on charges of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening and four firearm offenses. His bail is set at $1 million.

The standoff began at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday when police responded to a report of gunshots coming from 2292 Apoepoe St. in Pacific Palisades. When police arrived, they observed a man later identified as Kaua with a firearm in front of his ex-girlfriend’s home, police said.

A court document establishing probable cause for his arrest filed Monday details of the tense moments during the initial response and the standoff.

Early on police had a report the suspect was Kaua, the same man who held his wife hostage in October 1998 in a 22-hour standoff in a nearby area of Pearl City.

Dispatch reported three shots fired, and that a man had threatened someone with a firearm, but did not wish to pursue the case at the time, police said in the court filing.

Officer J. Frye arrived at 9:02 a.m. and saw Kaua holding a black shotgun. “Kaua took aim at him, causing Officer J. Frye to fear that his life was in immediate jeopardy.”

Frye fired multiple rounds from his AR-15 “in an attempt to neutralize the threat that Kaua posed to him and other officers on scene, but to no avail.”

Shortly afterward, Frye saw Kaua taking aim at three other officers positioned 40 yards south of him, and fired additional rounds, causing him to retreat into the house, police said in the document.

Kaua was hit in the stomach, his daughter said.

A few minutes later, a single round was fired in the direction of three officers, hitting a blue-and-white police car they were using as cover.

One of those officers encountered Kaua on Aug. 9 and had taken a photo of him and gotten his birth date. That officer showed Frye the photo, and he positively identified him as the man who fired a shotgun at him and the other three officers.

Numerous intermittent gunshots from inside the house continued to be heard, a police officer said in the court document.

The SWAT team arrived at about 11 a.m., took over the operations and instructed nearby residents to remain indoors. Police also warned others in the neighborhood to take cover as Kaua allegedly continued to fire random shots.

The American Red Cross opened a temporary shelter at the Pearl City District Park gym for residents who could not return to their homes.

The standoff ended at about midnight Friday when police deployed nonlethal gas into the Apoepoe Street home. Police said Kaua exited the home and surrendered. He was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening gunshot injuries and gas exposure. Emergency Medical Services then took him in serious condition to a hospital.

This was the second time in 20 years a standoff occurred in Pearl City involving Kaua.

In October 1998 Kaua shot at officers with an assault rifle when police arrived at his home to take him into custody on parole violations.

The 22-hour standoff, which stranded hundreds of residents, ended when a police sharpshooter shot Kaua in the face as he held his wife at gunpoint at a Waimano Home Road home.

Kaua has a criminal record dating back to 1987 that includes more than 20 convictions, 12 of which are felony convictions for assault, reckless endangering, manslaughter, terroristic threatening, place to keep a firearm, ownership or possession prohibited of a firearm and robbery.


Star-Advertiser reporter Leila Fujimori contributed to this story.

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