HONOLULU (AP) — A man suspected of fatally shooting a Hawaii police officer was killed during a shootout with officers Friday after a three-day search across the Big Island, authorities said.
Justin Waiki was killed and an officer was injured during the shootout, Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe told The Associated Press after receiving confirmation from the police chief.
A police spokesman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment and additional details weren’t available. Earlier in the day, Hawaii County police spokesman Alan Richmond said authorities hoped to capture the suspect soon. “We have a full press on, as you might imagine, to capture him,” he said.
Okabe said the injured officer was taken to Hilo Medical Center.
Local and U.S. authorizes launched a manhunt for Waiki after Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa was shot and killed during a shootout Tuesday following a traffic stop near Hilo.
The suspect fled into the brush on a dark and rainy evening.
A 24-hour task force followed up on tips and information about Waiki’s whereabouts. Maj. Samuel Jelsma said police believed his associates were helping hide him on the vast island, where the erupting Kilauea volcano has attracted worldwide attention in recent months.
Two of Waiki’s associates were arrested after an undercover officer approached a suspicious pickup truck with a man and woman inside on Thursday on the other side of the island from where the shooting took place.
The officer drew his weapon and ordered the two people to leave the truck. Instead, they fled and police chased them.
Kaliloa, 46, was the first police officer to be fatally shot on the Big Island. He had been married for 23 years and had three children. He was “Officer of the Year” for his district in 2014.
Kaliloa’s niece Kawehi Haug sent a Facebook message Thursday to The Associated Press. “He was strong and kind and funny and smart and chivalrous and served his community every day as an honest and upstanding police officer whose convictions guided him to always do the right thing,” she wrote.
She also said he was a loving husband and father.
Haug said Kaliloa and his wife adopted their three children, ages 3, 4 and 7, through the state foster care system.
The U.S. Marshals Service, FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had each offered $10,000 rewards for information leading to the capture of Waiki.
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