Big Island police release dramatic video from Hilo shooting

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Big Island police have released dramatic body camera footage from Tuesday’s police shooting in downtown Hilo. It took two gunshots and a stun gun before the suspect was finally subdued.

Hawaii County Police said a 41-year-old man was cutting himself with a knife when officers arrived at the scene on Keawe Street. When police arrived the incident escalated and resulted in an officer shooting the suspect after he refused to listen to commands to drop his weapon.

“Put the knife down, put the knife down, put the knife down! I will shoot you if you do not put the knife down, do you understand me?” yelled the officer toward the suspect.

But police said the suspect continued to approach the officer who kept yelling at him to put the knife down.

Big Island Police Chief Paul Ferreira described the incident and stated that the officer gave multiple commands to the suspect before discharging his duty weapon and shot the suspect’s left leg twice.

“Put the knife down! Take one more step, I’m shooting you (shots fired he groans). Drop the knife! Drop the knife! Drop the knife! (man is screaming in background),” said the officer.

“As the officer was backing away from the suspect, he stumbled backward against a parked vehicle while the suspect still advanced towards him. At that point, the officer discharged his duty weapon twice striking the suspect in his leg both times,” said Chief Paul Ferreira of the Hawaii Police Department.

Authorities said even while he was down on the ground, the suspect ignored the officers’ orders to drop his knife and instead kept yelling and swearing at them.

Even after falling to the ground, the suspect continued to hold on to the knife, refusing to listen to commands to drop it. As a result, additional officers that arrived at the scene deployed a conducted electrical weapon at the suspect and they were then able to take control of the blade.

“Drop the knife or I’m gonna Tase you, drop the knife, drop the knife. Taser Taser Taser! Get the knife, get the knife, get the knife,” said the officer.

“Medics were staged nearby, immediately arrived on the scene and rendered aid to the suspect and transported him to the Hilo Medical Center,” said Ferreira.

The officer who fired the shots is a 14-year veteran and has been placed on leave pending an internal review of the investigation.

Medics treated the suspect and took him to a hospital with multiple injuries, including two gunshot wounds that shattered a bone in his left leg. He underwent surgery and is in stable condition.

Big Island police initially stated that police and medics conducted CPR on the suspect but they later corrected their statement and said they did not.

“He remains in police custody at the Hilo Medical Center for the offense of terroristic threatening in the first degree and attempted assault on a law enforcement officer in the first degree,” said Ferreira.

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