Family of a Kauai man fatally shot by police wants answers

Photo courtesy: Saio Family

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A makeshift memorial with flowers and lei stands at Nawiliwili Harbor in memory of 21-year-old Mason Saio.

His parents say their entire family is having a hard time coping and want answers.

“We’re taking it day by day, but it’s not easy. It’s not easy for anybody. Mason was a loving person. He loves to sing, he loved his daughter, he loved his family, he was really family-oriented,” Mason’s mother Lei Saio said.

Kauai police say around 10:40 p.m. Friday, while they were patrolling the Nawiliwili jetty area, they came across a 21-year-old man sitting in a car with two guns.

They say when he got out of the car, he threw a rifle towards police officers and then pointed a shotgun at them.

When asked if Mason owned guns, Lei said, “We don’t own guns. We don’t believe in that. I personally cannot carry a weapon. If he indeed threw out a gun, that’s why I just need it to be investigated clearer.”

Lei Saio says they did not know he was at the harbor Friday or who he was with that night.

“I’m assuming that’s where they all hang out, but it was nothing that we knew about,” Lei Saio said.

Lei and her husband Bill say they want to know what happened.

“We hear only one side of it, but there were many people there. It’s just not a good feeling that I’m feeling right now. It’s just uneasy. It’s hard to think, hard to sleep hard to do anything to function,” Lei Saio said.

Kauai police are continuing their investigation.

They say standard police protocol is to put the officers involved on mandatory administrative leave for three days.

“The investigation is what’s going to bring out all the facts you know, and that’s all we ask for. If our son was wrong and he did do what they say he did, then we might begin the process of really truly healing,” Mason’s father Bill Saio said.

In addition to his parents, Mason leaves behind his 23-month-old daughter and three siblings.

Related story:  Kalaheo man shot and killed by police during confrontation

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