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Hawaii island police shoot, injure suspect in Hilo vehicle theft

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A Hawaii island police officer shot and injured a man during a reported vehicle theft in the Hilo area.

The Hawaii Police Department said that the shooting took place today when police responded to a call of a reported vehicle theft from a residence in the 500 block of Kukuau Street in Hilo.

HPD received the report at around 11:30 a.m., and at the scene the victim of the theft identified the suspect as a 32-year-old Hilo man.

Police began searching the area for the suspect and, at around noon, located a male on Kumukoa Street who matched the suspect’s description.

HPD said in a news release that officers tried to make contact with and identify the male, but he immediately began to run away. Police said the male then reportedly reached into his waistband area and pulled out a dark-colored pistol and turned toward the officer before the shooting took place.

“One of the officers pursuing the suspect drew his weapon, and clear verbal commands were given by officers,” HPD said in its news release. “The suspect ignored the officers’ lawful commands, and one officer subsequently discharged his duty weapon, striking the suspect in the upper shoulder area.”

Police and Hawaii Fire Department medics treated the male, who was then arrested and transported to the Hilo Medical Center, where he is currently and is expected to make a full recovery.

No other injuries were reported.

The Office of Professional Standards has begun an internal administrative investigation of the shooting.

The officer, a five-year veteran of HPD, will be placed on administrative leave pending an internal review of the incident, the department said.

HPD is asking anyone witnesses to call its non-emergency line at 808-935-3311 or Detective Paul Mangus of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at 808-961-2383 or via

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