Man slain, alleged killer dies in crash
A pickup truck crashed in North Kohala yesterday, killing a Puna man who hours earlier allegedly shot and killed another man on the Big Island, police said.
Police were on an islandwide search for the suspect, but were not in immediate pursuit at the time of the crash, said acting Lt. Richard Sherlock of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section.
"We were actively looking for the suspect in Puna when we were notified of the accident," Sherlock said. "He was not being pursued.
"We can't rule out if it was intentional," he said. "It still looks like an accident. We will look further at this accident."
Hilo detectives are looking for a possible motive in the shooting and continue to investigate the case. Sherlock could not comment on whether a gun was recovered.
Fire and police responded to a 10:38 a.m. call at 15-1662 Paradise Drive in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision, about three miles north of a separate killing in the Ainaloa subdivision a little more than a week before. In that case, a man allegedly stabbed his 14-year-old son, who was trying to protect his mother during an attack. The mother was wounded, and her unborn child was killed.
In yesterday's case, fire personnel found the 28-year-old man lying on his back in his front yard with a gunshot wound to the chest.
His wife and young children were inside the home, police and fire officials said.
Fire personnel transported the man in critical condition to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m.
Puna police Lt. Dexter Chaves said the victim was reportedly talking to someone in his front yard when his wife heard a single gunshot, went outside and found her husband.
Police had the identity of a possible suspect, knew where he lived and were looking for him, Chaves said.
The suspect, another Puna man, was ejected from the 2007 Dodge pickup truck he was driving on Akoni Pule Highway after the truck crossed the center line, hit an embankment and overturned, police said.
He was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he died at 2:48 p.m. yesterday.
Police withheld the names of the victim and suspect yesterday until relatives could be notified.
Anyone with further information about the case is asked to call Detective Darren Horio of the Area I Criminal Investigations Section at 961-2385 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.