Monday, Sept. 25, 2023|
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The suspect who lead Hawaii Island Police on a manhunt Friday was captured without incident Saturday morning in Honokaa.
Police apprehended 44-year-old Ronald Kahihikolo, who was wanted for attempted murder and numerous outstanding bench warrants. He was located on Saturday morning in the Hamakua district near Highway 19 at the 39.5 mile marker.
The manhunt followed a police involved shooting Friday which left one suspect dead at a Palani Road traffic stop.
Police had pursued Kahihikolo through the Waimea area before he exited Highway 19 near the 40-mile marker, in lower Kalopa in Hamakua. Kahihikolo was last seen on foot wearing a plaid shirt and jeans in a secluded area near a gulch.
Hawaii Police Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz said in a Friday night press conference the white Dodge sedan Kahihikolo was driving “went through a series of bushes and trees and came just to the end of the roadway right by a cliff” in lower Kalopa, makai of Highway 19 in Hamakua.
“By the time the officers got to the white Dodge, the vehicle was empty and Kahihikolo was not seen,” Moszkowicz said.
According to police, the search for Kahihikolo began on Tuesday morning when Ka‘u patrol officers responded to a report of a 42-year-old woman who had been shot during a domestic dispute in the 92-2000 block of Outrigger Drive in Ocean View. The woman sought medical attention for the gunshot wound at the Ocean View Fire Station and was taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment, where she remains in stable condition. Detectives with the Area II Juvenile Aid Section identified the suspect in that case as Kahihikolo, of Ocean View, and a media release was issued on that day requesting the public’s assistance in locating him.
On Friday morning plainclothes Area II Vice detectives received information that Kahihikolo was in the Kona area, and in the company of several individuals who were in possession of two stolen vehicles, a silver Chevy Malibu and a white Dodge sedan.
As vice detectives began canvassing the area, officers observed the Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Kamakaeha Avenue. As the Malibu came to a stop at the intersection of Kamakaeha Avenue and Palani Road, detectives attempted to contact the vehicle’s occupants. Ignoring the officers’ commands to show them his hands, the male driver began reaching for an object. Fearing for their safety, two detectives discharged their duty weapons, striking the driver.
The driver then drove the vehicle across all lanes of Palani Road and down an embankment before coming to a stop. Detectives followed the vehicle down the embankment.
When detectives arrived at the vehicle they observed that the driver had injuries and immediately started life-saving measures, but the driver died at the scene. He has been identified as 32-year-old Kainoa Kahele-Bishop of Kailua-Kona.
Moszkowicz walked back, somewhat, a statement made by police that officers had recovered firearms from the Chevy.
He said that two firearms were seen from the outside of the car and police were in the process of obtaining a search warrant on the car.
“The officers that approached the vehicle did so with the impression that the vehicle was stolen, and to talk with the driver and find out whether the vehicle was stolen or not and what involvement, if any, he had with this fugitive,” Moszkowicz said.
According to Moszkowicz, the two detectives who discharged their weapons in Kona are plainclothes and weren’t wearing body cams, so there was no footage of the shooting. He also said he didn’t know yet whether there was camera footage of the pursuit of Kahihikolo.
A passenger in the vehicle, 26-year-old Jacqueline Keanaaina, of Kailua-Kona, suffered minor injuries in the traffic crash and was treated at the scene by Hawaii Fire Department medics. She was then arrested for an outstanding warrant and transported to the Kealakehe Police Station.
One detective sustained minor injuries and was provided with first aid at the scene.
Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation.
The Office of Professional Standards has initiated an internal administrative investigation. The involved detectives are 25-year and 13-year veterans, respectively, and will be placed on administrative leave pending an internal review of this incident.
Police ask anyone with information on this incident to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Jason Foxworthy, via email at Jason.Foxworthy@hawaiicounty.gov or at (808) 326-4646 ext. 281.
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