Fugitive cop killer planned shootout with police, associate said

  • JAMIE JASON
  • JUSTIN WAIKI
  • JORGE PAGAN-TORRES
  • MALIA LAJALA
  • KRYSTLE FERREIRA
  • OFFICER BRYAN TINA (Facebook photo)
  • OFFICER BRONSON KALILOA (Hawaii Police Department photo)

An associate of Justin Waiki told authorities the fugitive cop killer intended to shoot it out with police, according to a court document filed by prosecutors in Kona.

Jamie Jason, the 35-year-old woman who hid with Waiki under a blanket in the rear of a sport-utility vehicle, told police she held the stolen .38 revolver and extra rounds of ammunition while Waiki took a swim at a beach at Ka Lae, aka South Point, shortly before the violent end of a 60-hour manhunt on Friday.

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The document states police “pinged” cellphones of known associates of Waiki and on Friday learned his possible whereabouts from the cellphone GPS coordinates. The Special Response Team — Hawaii Police Department’s SWAT unit — was directed to conduct checks on South Point Road and to establish a mobile checkpoint to screen all vehicles and their occupants leaving South Point Road in an effort to locate Waiki.

Jason said she, Waiki, and the others in the Toyota 4Runner — Jorge Pagan-Torres, Malia Lajala and Krystle Ferreira, found out through Facebook officers were setting up a roadblock on South Point Road.

According to Jason, Waiki — who was on the run, wanted for the fatal shooting of Puna patrol Officer Bronson Kaliloa on July 17 — asked her to join him in the rear compartment of the SUV, while the others hid them under the blanket and put other things on top of them.

Six SRT officers were assigned to the South Point Road checkpoint, with four of the officers, identified as Sgt. Bryan Tina and Officers Wayne Kennison, Kevin Brodie and Patrick Aurello, set up as an approach team for vehicles rolling up to the roadblock. The other two officers remained in the Bearcat, SRT’s armored vehicle.

One SRT member, since identified as Tina, made contact with the driver of the 4Runner, Pagan-Torres, then moved to the rear of the SUV and opened its lift gate. Waiki emerged from beneath the blanket and fired the revolver, hitting Tina multiple times.

The rest of the approach team immediately returned fire, killing Waiki and hitting Jason in the leg, fracturing her femur.

According to the document, none of the occupants of the SUV told officers at the checkpoint that they learned about the checkpoint on Facebook, that Waiki was in the vehicle, that he had a gun, that he intended to shoot officers.

Tina, a 12-year Hawaii Police Department veteran, suffered arm and chest wounds. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment and has since been released.

Jason was also taken to Hilo Medical Center for her injuries. Her status is currently unknown, but police booking logs since Friday have not shown her as having been arrested for the incident.

Kennison, Brodie and Aurello have all been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of internal administrative and criminal investigations.

Pagan-Torres, Lajala, and Ferreira were charged Sunday with accomplice to attempted first-degree murder, accomplice to illegally carrying a revolver and first-degree hindering prosecution.

In addition, Pagan-Torres was charged with two counts of violating probation and Lajala with two counts of third-degree promotion a dangerous drug.

The three made their initial appearances Monday in Kona District Court, with Judge Margaret Masunaga denying all bail and setting a preliminary hearing for today.

Court records indicate Pagan-Torres has 21 criminal convictions, including three felonies for promoting a dangerous drug, forgery and driving a stolen vehicle.

Lajala has 14 criminal convictions, including felony robbery and attempted burglary.

Ferreira has no criminal record.

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Jason, of Puna, has five criminal convictions, none for felonies. She was arrested in July 11 in a drug bust in Waimea with three others, in which officers reportedly seized 51 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, nine grams of marijuana, a digital scale and a loaded .40-caliber pistol. She was released pending further investigation.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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