Wednesday | February 22, 2017
About Us | Contact | Subscribe

Witness describes wild Kona shooting

A security guard at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel described the gunshots and reckless driving that highlighted an incident last Saturday in Kailua Village.

Security guard Justin Tripp took the stand in a preliminary hearing for Raymond Lee Robinson, 39, who has been in police custody on allegations that he endangered the public by firing multiple gunshots into the air in the resort parking lot, fired shots inside his apartment and drove recklessly down Alii Drive, along with multiple firearms related charges.

“I see (the car) parked sideways, and someone put their hand out the window and started firing a gun,” said Tripp, who was manning the parking booth at the resort around noon Saturday. “What I could count was 20-plus (shots) altogether. In the beginning, it was a burst. Then there was a pause, and yelling that if anyone came near, they would get shot.”

Tripp ducked behind a wall as the shots were fired, then began moving people out of the area. The two shots he witnessed being fired were into the air, he said. Then the sound of the gunshots changed, like a different gun was being discharged, he said.

Prior to the shooting, Tripp said, a red Chevy Camero had sped out of the King Kamehameha parking lot, fish-tailing and almost hitting the parking booth. The car’s windshield struck the gate arm, then the car swung right down Alii Drive, Tripp said. He reported the license number to his supervisor, who called police. About 40 minutes later, the car came back along Alii and back into the parking lot. Tripp followed the car. That was when the shooting began, he said.

Tripp said that he was then called to the back of the hotel, and when he returned to the scene he saw Robinson running across the parking lot, apparently unarmed. Police told Robinson to get down on the ground and at that point Robinson appeared to surrender to custody without a struggle, Tripp said.

It’s not clear what caused the incident; the hearing has been continued to April 22 at 2:30 p.m. due to a time conflict that forced public defender Peter Bresciani to be in another courtroom before the proceedings were concluded.

Robinson sat quietly through the hearing and at one point sat slumped with his head down on a table.

Hawaii County Police Officer Coley Rowe described responding to the shots, as he and two other officers moved into the parking lot, using vehicles for cover.

“As we approached, I could see the red Camero parked facing the ocean and the sound of gunfire was coming from the vehicle,” Rowe testified.

“He had a window rolled down and was screaming, ‘anyone who approaches me is going to die … move these cars,’” Rowe said.

Prior to responding to the resort, police had received a report of shots fired at the Lokahi Apartments on Kakahiaka Street and a red Camero fleeing that area.

After Robinson was apprehended, Rowe said he saw what appeared to be a .357 revolver in the car and a lever action rifle in the back seat of the Camero.

Police acting on a search warrant also discovered a pistol and ammunition and gunshot damage to the inside of Robinson’s apartment, according to a police department spokesman.

Robinson is charged with first degree terroristic threatening, first degree reckless endangering, second degree reckless endangering, reckless driving, criminal property damage and five firearms charges. His bail is set at $123,000.

Email Bret Yager at


Rules for posting comments