Police officer fatally shot during traffic stop; suspect on the loose

  • JUSTIN WAIKI
  • Office Bronson Kaliloa receives 2014 Puna Officer of the Year award.

UPDATED at 12:26 p.m.

Calling it “the worst day of my 36-year career,” Hawaii Police Department Chief Paul Ferreira told the media this morning the manhunt is continuing for a 33-year-old man who is alleged to fatally shot a police officer Tuesday night in Mountain View.

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Ferreira, who appeared emotional, said he wanted to put a face to the name of the fallen Puna patrol officer, 46-year-old Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, “to show how senseless his death was by bringing his personal life to bear.”

Ferreira called Kaliloa, a Kauai native, “a loving husband to a wife of 23 years, a father to three children, two sons and a daughter” and “a loving son to his parents, who also reside on Hawaii Island.”

He said Kaliloa was honored by his fellow officers by being named Officer of the Year for the Puna district in 2014.

“This was an officer, this was a father, a son and a husband. Put a face to the name,” Ferreira said while pointing to a projected image of Kaliloa holding his Officer of the Year plaque.

Of the suspect, 33-year-old Justin Joshua Waiki, whose last known address was in Las Vegas, Ferreira said he was being sought on a no-bail warrant for revocation or his bail conditions and the officers who stopped him Tuesday night on Highway 11 had information he was there.

“He has 37 prior arrests for various offenses, which included 16 convictions. Three of those were felony convictions that include firearm offenses, drug offenses and forgery,” Ferreira said. He noted that among Waiki’s misdemeanor convictions was one for assault.

Ferreira said there was no indication that Waiki, who allegedly disappeared into the woods following the shooting, was struck by return fire.

He said the two officers who discharged their weapons were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of internal and criminal investigations.

Ferreira also reiterated that Waiki is to be considered armed and dangerous and the public should not approach or try to apprehend him.

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Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a police officer during a traffic stop Tuesday night on Highway 11 near Kukui Camp Road in Mountain View.

At about 9:47 p.m., officers stopped a vehicle bearing Hawaii license plate number ZGG 879, which police say was being driven by Justin Joshua Waiki, a 33-year-old man whose last known address is in Las Vegas. Waiki was wanted on an outstanding no-bail warrant and multiple all-points bulletins.

Police say that as officers approached, Waiki got out of the front seat and fired multiple shots from what is believed to be a handgun, striking Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa in the neck and leg. Other officers returned fire, but Waiki was able to flee into the brush on foot, police said.

Highway 11 was closed down, while police searched for Waiki and processed the scene for evidence.

Kaliloa was taken by ambulance to the Hilo Medical Center, where he underwent surgery, but was pronounced dead at 12:45 a.m. this morning.

Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the Hawaii Police Department leaves behind a wife and three small children.

Waiki, who is sought by police, is described as 5-foot-11-inches tall and about 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and dark jacket.

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Waiki is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone with information his whereabouts is asked to call the police non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Detective William Brown at 961-2384 or william.brown@hawaiicounty.gov.

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