Police shoot Kona man


Stephens Media Hawaii

A 33-year-old Kona man is in stable condition at Kona Community Hospital after being shot by a police officer Monday evening.

A 31-year-old police officer was placed on administrative leave after shooting the man outside a Manu Mele Street home in the Kona Heavens subdivision, Maj. Sam Thomas said Tuesday.

The incident remains under investigation, Thomas said.

According to a police report, officers responded to reports of an attempted suicide at the home at the end of Manu Mele Street, a quiet neighborhood with houses that run into the $750,000 range. Officers found the man outside the home and ordered him to put down the weapon. The man refused and, according to police, attempted to use the rifle to harm himself.

One officer discharged his gun, striking the man in the right shoulder. The man dropped the rifle. Thomas said the officers then provided first aid while awaiting an ambulance to transport the victim to the hospital, where he was treated.

Thomas said he could not yet comment on how many officers responded to the initial call, how long officers spoke with the victim or how many shots the officer fired. Those details will need to be verified during the investigation, Thomas said.

He also could not comment on how many times officers had previously been called to the home.

The officer who shot the man has been on the police force for eight years. Thomas said the officer has never previously discharged his weapon while on duty. The length of administrative leave depends upon the investigation and the officer, Thomas said, adding that being involved in a shooting is traumatic for officers.

“It’s really a case-by-case situation,” he said.

Thomas said the investigation will also consider whether the shooting victim will face any charges.

The Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

 

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