Attempted murder suspect appeared to be on drugs, mother testifies at hearing

New details are emerging in the case against Joel Lonzaga.

The 44-year-old Kaneohe man is charged with second-degree attempted murder after he allegedly doused another man, Tracy Carroll, with gasoline and set him on fire earlier this month.

Witnesses took to the stand Thursday to testify at his preliminary hearing.

According to court documents, on May 7 at around 6:23 p.m., police responded to a call on 45-1053 Anoi Rd. When officers arrived, a witness pointed to Lonzaga and said he had just set another man on fire.

An officer reported he saw Lonzaga crouched down in a nearby stream, screaming, “I had to! He was going to kill me and my family!” The officer also reported Lonzaga appeared to be on drugs.

Elizabeth Lonzaga
Elizabeth Lonzaga

Police collected statements from various witnesses, including Lonzaga’s mother, who lives with the suspect on Anoi Rd. “Through the opening of my window, I heard Tracy say, ‘Why did you do that? Why did you throw gasoline all over me?'” Elizabeth Lonzaga testified Thursday.

She also said saw Lonzaga use a lighter to set the victim on fire. “I heard a ‘vroom’… Tracy was on fire… His whole body was on fire,” she said. “It was pretty hot. I thought maybe I might get on fire too because I’m with Tracy and the flame was coming toward me, too.”

Carroll suffered extensive burns and remains in the intensive care unit.

Carroll’s brother, who did not want to talk on camera, said he moved to Hawaii from Montana a month ago.

Another witness said he chased Lonzaga, who took out a long cylindrical glass pipe and three knives and threw on the ground as he ran, according to court documents.

Officers recovered and examined the pipe, and said it looked cloudy and filled with residue resembling smoked crystal methamphetamine, the documents said.

Lonzaga is also charged with drug offenses. He remains in custody, unable to post $200,000 bail.

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