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Hawaii island police fatally shoot Hilo man; suspect’s grandfather, 91, dies of apparent heart attack during incident

  • COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
                                Ryan Yukiharu Santos.

    COURTESY HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

    Ryan Yukiharu Santos.

Hawaii island police fatally shot a 34-year-old felon who allegedly shot at officers responding to a domestic call at a Hilo home Sunday night, and his grandfather died of an apparent heart attack during the incident.

The man has been identified as Ryan Yukiharu Santos of Hilo, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.

South Hilo patrol officers responded to a domestic call at a home on Mokuhonua Lane shortly after 7 p.m.

When officers arrived and contacted the occupants of the residence, a man came out of a back room of the home with a firearm and fired multiple shots at officers and their marked police vehicles, police said.

The officers retreated and one officer with 13 years of service returned fire striking the suspect several times.

Police and responding paramedics performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the suspect later identified as Santos to no avail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the course of the shooting, Santos’ 91-year-old grandfather, Ichiro Nakamura, appeared to go into cardiac arrest, police said. Medics took him to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It is believed he died from a medical condition, according to police. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Police said there were no injuries to other occupants of the home, neighbors or responding officers.

Lt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Criminal Investigation Section — Area 1 noted there were no serious injuries reported from the initial domestic call.

Officers closed Wainaku Street between Akahai Place and Vierra Lane for several hours to investigate.

Neighbors said they heard multiple shots at the time.

A resident who has lived on Mokuhonua Lane for more than 30 years said she initially heard four shots, one after another. The resident who declined to give her name said there was a slight pause after the four shots, “then all hell broke loose.”

“It was a shootout or something,” she said. It was frightening, she added, noting the neighborhood is usually quiet.

Gwendolyn Quinories, a resident who lives on nearby Akamai Loop also heard multiple shots. “My sister thought it was fireworks. … I was thinking to myself that’s not fireworks,” she said. “The shots were clear as day.”

The police department is investigating, and the responding officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol on a police shooting.

Court documents show Santos was scheduled to appear in family court on June 23 for an abuse of a family or household member case that allegedly occurred on May 10.

He has a criminal record of one felony conviction for assault, five misdemeanor convictions for abuse of a family or household member, assault and criminal contempt of court and two petty misdemeanor convictions for assault and criminal property damage.

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