HAWI — A man wanted for a shooting in Kailua-Kona has been on the lam three days, with the police pursuit stretching from Kona to North Kohala.
The Hawaii Police Department has sought Walter Gomes III since Wednesday evening after a woman turned up at Kona Community Hospital with a gunshot wound. Officers opened fire on the 41-year-old on three separate occasions, once in Kona by Costco and twice in Hawi.
He escaped apprehension after disappearing into the North Kohala brush Thursday evening and has not been seen since.
Maj. Robert Wagner said officers followed up on calls all day Friday. They also responded to a possible sighting at Lowe’s in Kailua-Kona, which turned up nothing.
At this point, the major added, eight officers have been put on administrative leave in connection to any one of the shooting incidents.
Thursday’s pursuit of Gomes brought officers to Hawi. Police shot at Gomes at the Minit Stop and Ohana Fuel on Hawi Road and again a half-mile away on Akoni Pule Highway by Camp 17 Road after he crashed into a police cruiser. At that point, he fled on foot.
Wagner said Gomes’ vehicle was damaged in Thursday’s crash. Unless he got transportation, the thought is Gomes is still in North Kohala.
A check of court records turned up at least 20 cases dating to 2017 that have been initiated against Walter Gomes III. In all, nearly 80 violations were counted for various traffic crimes and infractions, including the charges of contempt of court, failure to appear and drug promotion for which he was convicted.
Not all of the cases and violations resulted in conviction, however. Five cases comprising more than a dozen violations were dismissed and prosecutors withdrew one case with two violations. Five cases remained open, all relating to traffic infractions and crimes.
Gomes also has two convictions from 2014 — one for criminal contempt of court, a misdemeanor, and another for failure to appear, a petty misdemeanor.
Police caution the public not to approach Gomes, who they consider armed and dangerous. Instead, those with information should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 to report his whereabouts. People also can call Detective Brandon Mansur at 326-4646, ext. 301, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Hawaii Today staff members contributed to this report.
Email Tiffany DeMasters at email@example.com.