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Police shoot man to death after standoff


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POSTED: Thursday, December 17, 2009

A 60-year-old Big Island man shot dead by police after a 10-hour standoff had been suffering from depression and fired off possibly hundreds of rounds before being shot, a neighbor said.

“;About midnight, our neighbor was yelling and screaming, making loud whacking noises, which we finally realized he was shooting a gun,”; said one woman, who asked that her name not be used.

About 2:50 a.m. yesterday, Puna officers received a report of shots fired inside the Kehena Beach Estates home in lower Puna, police said.

According to property tax records, the house is owned by Daniel and Nancy Heidt. A neighbor said the couple was divorced.

Police witheld the man's name pending investigation.

; As officers approached the home, they heard more shots and tried to talk the man out of the house.

At that point, police evacuated some neighbors.

Shortly after 8 a.m., police closed Highway 137 between mile markers 19 and 20 and evacuated other residents.

Shortly after 1 p.m., the man came out and struggled with officers, according to Maj. Paul Kealoha. Police shot the man and he died a short time later, police said.

Kealoha did not disclose how many times the man had been shot or how many officers fired weapons. No one else was seriously injured, he said.

Police have opened a criminal and administrative investigation into the shooting.

The woman who lives on Kii Nani Street said she was evacuated about 3 a.m., but allowed back into her home about 5 a.m.

Before she was evacuated, she heard Heidt yelling that he had been betrayed, he wasn't a loser and he was an alpha dog. He continued to fire shots in the house about 11 a.m., she said

“;A lot of bullets, he kept popping them off,”; she said.

When the man finally came out, she heard police telling him to put down the gun, then heard about three shots.

“;You could just feel the tension,”; she said. “;There were snipers in the bushes. ... Then it was all gone.”;

She said Heidt lived alone and couldn't work because of health problems. She said he talked about being depressed and wanting someone to kill him.