Saturday, June 16, 2001

A patrol officer in the foreground secured the scene of Thursday
night's Big Island shooting while detectives in the background
used a metal detector to search for evidence.

1 commits suicide and
1 is shot in a carjacking
on the Big Island

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> Two rural Big Island people were on their way to a line dance Thursday night when two young men hijacked their car, resulting in shootings that left one man dead and the other hospitalized, police said.

A 19-year-old man was shot and wounded by police when he came toward them rapidly, his hands not in view, after a shot was fired, said Capt. James Day.

"From what we have so far, it appears that it was a justified shooting," Day said.

The man's name was not released.

Police confirmed that a second carjacker committed suicide when approached by police. He was identified as Shaun "Mika" Thompson, 20, of Ainaloa.

An autopsy determined that Thompson was seriously but not fatally injured by a self-inflicted wound caused by firing a sawed-off rifle under his chin, the first shot police heard, Day said.

After the shot fired by an officer at the 19-year-old, Thompson fired another shot into his head, killing himself, the police and the autopsy determined.

Day and written statements from police described the events that led to the shootings: At 7:50 p.m. police received a report of a gunshot in the rural Ainaloa subdivision, 15 miles south of Hilo. Police were still trying to determine yesterday whether that gunshot was related to events that followed, Day said.

Four patrol cars, with one officer in each, gathered at the subdivision's entrance to plan how to respond to the gunshot, Day said.

A 64-year-old woman driving a four-door sedan and her 55-year-old male passenger were leaving the subdivision for a line dance when a young man in the middle of the street near the subdivision exit forced her to stop. He said he and a friend urgently needed a ride to another subdivision, Day said.

The woman refused, but the two men jumped into the back seat of the car.

The woman started blowing her horn, attracting the four nearby patrol officers.

A woman officer approached and saw Thompson holding a sawed-off rifle. He pointed the rifle at the officer, who backed away and warned the others.

Various officers recognized the men, "who had previous contact with police," the police statement said.

The officers shouted for the men to get out of the car with their hands visible.

Then, "almost simultaneously," a shot went off inside the car, and the 19-year-old came out, Day said.

"He's getting out quickly. They can't see his hands," Day said. A male officer then shot the 19-year-old.

At the same time, the driver and her passenger left the car and were directed by police to the rear of the vehicle for safety. "They were pretty shook up," Day said.

An instant after the first two shots, a third shot was fired inside the car, and police saw Thompson had suffered head wounds.

Police called for an ambulance. The 19-year-old underwent surgery at Hilo hospital for a wound in the left side of his chest. Thompson was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police towed the car to a secure area in Hilo but were not immediately able to obtain a search warrant, Day said. Without a search there was no immediate way to know if drugs, more guns or other evidence was in the car.

Day declined to detail the two men's "previous contact" with police.

Following standard procedure, the officer who fired the shot, an 11-year veteran with the department, was placed on leave, and an internal investigation of the shooting was begun.

Police are continuing their investigation of two counts of kidnapping, robbery (the car theft), six counts of terroristic threatening, six counts of reckless endangering and two firearms violations.

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