By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Police have charged a 55-year-old Hilo man for the shooting death of 32-year-old Faafetai Fiu on the Hilo Bayfront late last year.
At 4:05 p.m. Thursday, Hilo Criminal Investigations Section detectives charged Mark Anthony Whyne, who has no permanent address, with second-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a separate felony, two counts of carrying a loaded firearm, and illegal storage of ammunition.
Police Lt. Greg Esteban said that Whyne was charged with Fiu’s slaying due to “a forensic examination.” He declined to provide more specifics.
Asked if police have identified a motive for the shooting, Esteban replied: “That’s still being investigated at this point.”
The shooting took place the evening of Dec. 29. At about 8:47 p.m., police received a number of calls of possible gunshots heard in the area of Moʻoheau Park in downtown Hilo. Responding officers discovered Fiu, who lived in Hilo but had no permanent address, with apparent gunshot wounds.
An autopsy performed on Fiu’s body determined that he bled to death due to multiple gunshot wounds. Police are awaiting additional toxicology reports from the medical examiner’s office.
Whyne was already in police custody on the firearms-related offenses prior to his arrest for murder, and made his initial appearance on the firearms charges in Hilo District Court on Thursday.
Whyne appeared in Hilo District Court on Thursday on the firearms charges. According to court documents, police executed a search warrant on Whyne’s car on Monday at 4:25 p.m. at the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hilo and took him into custody afterward.
Police said in December that the fatal confrontation occurred “near a silver or light-colored vehicle that was parked on the makai shoulder of (Bayfront) highway just makai of the Mo‘oheau ball field.” Documents state that Whyne’s car is a silver 2010 Toyota Corolla.
According to documents, Whyne was wearing a black fanny pack when contacted by officers, and he told police “he wanted to let officers know he had a loaded 9 mm (pistol) in the bag and did not want to get shot.” The document stated that “the shape of a handgun could be felt within the black fanny pack.”
Officers searching Whyne’s car also found a “fully loaded … .22 caliber pistol in pouch behind front passenger seat,” according to documents.
Both firearms are registered to Whyne.
A search of court records turned up no prior criminal convictions for Whyne, who is being held without bail in the Hilo police cellblock. He’s scheduled to make his initial court appearance on the murder charge today.
Anyone with information about this case or who may have witnessed this shooting is asked to contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or email@example.com. Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Email John Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.