Monday, December 24, 2001

Police investigate
Big Island shooting

A police officer shot and killed a
man who was attacking another
person with a knife

By Leila Fujimori

Hilo detectives have opened a homicide investigation into the death of a Puna man shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday, according to a news release.

Art The shooting happened in front of the man's home on Kupono Street in the Leilani Estates subdivision.

Authorities initially were called to a disturbance in which members of another family allegedly forced their way into the man's house and assaulted his 32-year-old female companion, police said.

When officers arrived at about 1:51 p.m., they found the 39-year-old man attacking another man with a "military-type dagger." An officer opened fire when the man continued to slash at the other man after being ordered to drop the knife, detectives said.

The 37-year-old male officer is a three-year veteran assigned to the Puna district. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

The shooting victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Police were withholding his identity pending fingerprint confirmation and notification of next of kin. His female companion was treated and released, and a 46-year-old man also was treated at the hospital.

First-degree burglary and second- and third-degree assault charges are pending, but police have not identified suspects.

Police were to have served a search warrant at a Kupono Street house last night.

The Police Criminal Investigation Division and Internal Affairs Division are investigating the initial incident and the shooting.

E-mail to City Desk

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