The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii recognized Officer Frank Mohica on Sept. 26 as the East Hawaii “Officer of the Month” for September.
Mohica, a Community Policing officer assigned to the South Hilo District, was honored for bringing about a peaceful resolution after a barricaded gunman fired shots in a residential subdivision in Puna.
On Aug. 21, a convicted felon abused his female companion, left the house enraged, got into a motor vehicle accident and fled the scene, police said.
Officers searching for him later discovered he had returned to the house and taken a firearm registered to the woman.
Hours later, police received several reports of gunshots being fired in another populated residential subdivision. When they arrived, they learned that the shooter was the same man from the earlier incident. The neighbors were evacuated and a standoff ensued with the suspect, who was intoxicated, belligerent and uncooperative.
Officer Mohica, who volunteers on the Hostage Negotiation Team, was off duty when he was alerted and responded to the scene.
Police discovered that the suspect’s father was also present on the property. Mohica quickly established an avenue of communication with the father and began to develop a rapport with him. Over time, he persuaded both the suspect and the father to surrender to police without incident.
When detectives obtained a search warrant for the premises, they recovered a rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and spent casings. The suspect was charged with nine offenses.
As “Officer of the Month,” Mohica is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”
The East Hawaii “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaii.