Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting on Hawaii Island

EDITOR’S NOTE: The story has been updated after police positively identified the person shot was Stephen Joshua Whitney.

A Hawaii Island man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Keaau.

It happened at around 4 p.m. on Highway 11 near Kipimana Street.

Police say they were searching for 30-year-old Stephen Joshua Whitney of Hilo who was a suspect in an attempted murder investigation during a domestic incident that occurred earlier Friday.

Police say a 41-year-old woman was stabbed at an apartment complex on Banyan Drive in Hilo. She underwent surgery at Hilo Medical Center and is now listed in serious but stable condition.

Patrol officers responded to a home on Kaumana Drive after receiving a call from road surveyors in the area. The road crew told officers that a man drove up in a grey Honda sedan. The suspect exited the Honda and entered the workers’ pickup truck that was parked near them and then drove off.

Police determined that the Honda sedan had been stolen from a home on Ocean View Drive in Hilo. After recovering the car, police found evidence suggesting that the two cases were related.

Later in the day, officers found Witney in the stolen truck along the Hilo-bound lane of Highway 11, near Shipman Industrial Park.

Stephen Joshua Whitney
Stephen Joshua Whitney

“The vehicle was parked on the highway. There was a confrontation with police at that location that resulted in an officer discharging his firearm and the suspect being shot,” said Capt. Robert Wagner, Hawaii Police Department.

Police say Whitney drove forward and gunned his engine while heading toward another officer when he was shot.

Officers administered CPR at the scene. Whitney was then taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Police have identified Whitney via fingerprints after the shooting.

The officer who discharged his firearm has been an officer for three years.

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