A Honaunau man accused of shooting his neighbor last week told police where to find a gun in his apartment, but denied shooting anyone, an officer testified Tuesday morning.
Officer Hanalei Pagan said he eventually told Monte Moreau to stop talking. Moreau, 44, had not yet been advised of his rights when he began talking about his gun.
“He kept saying he put the gun back in the closet,” Pagan said during a preliminary hearing in Kona District Court. “He said he could go get it. We said no, you’re not going to get it. He said we could go get it.”
Pagan responded to the Mamalahoa Highway house, which was divided into several apartments, with three other officers. Another officer talked with Moreau more, Pagan said. That officer did not take the stand Tuesday.
Officers clarified with Moreau, who was handcuffed, that they could enter his apartment, then went in to check for other victims. There were none, Pagan said. At that point, medical personnel had taken the victim, Todd Shaver, to Kona Community Hospital for treatment.
Pagan mostly talked with another neighbor, who said Moreau shot Shaver. Another officer talked with Moreau more than Pagan, the officer said. During that conversation, Moreau might have denied shooting Shaver, Pagan said.
Pagan, after securing the crime scene and Shaver’s apartment, and waiting for additional officers to guard the scene, went to the hospital to check on Shaver. There, he learned Shaver was in surgery and would be unlikely to talk for about a week.
Vice officers and detectives executed the search warrant on the home the day after the shooting, Officer Eric Jackson said. At the house, they found a bullet casing, blood, a baseball cap, slippers and eyeglasses on the ground and on a ramp leading to the upstairs part of the house. Inside, they found a .40-caliber gun in a gun case, on the top shelf of the closet where Moreau said he placed the weapon and a box of hollow-point bullets that looked like they were the same kind as the casing officers found outside.
Hollow-point bullets usually cause more damage than ball ammunition when shot at a person, Jackson said. Typically, they are used for personal protection, he said, adding that some types of hollow-point bullets are illegal. The ones at Moreau’s home were legal.
Pagan had testified that he looked in the closet but did not see the gun. Moreau’s attorney, Public Defender Wendy DeWeese asked Jackson if the gun appeared to be hidden or obscured in any way. Jackson said it was not.
“The closet shelf was kind of high,” he said, adding that the gun was in a case.
Judge Andrew Wilson continued the hearing until Aug. 1 because two of the prosecution’s witnesses were unavailable.
Email Erin Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.