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Manhunt underway after police officer killed in Hawaii

Police car lights. (Alexandru Cuznetov/Dreamstime/TNS)
July 18, 2018

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Police officials in Hawaii are searching for a suspect in the killing of a police officer.

Bronson Kaliloa was a 10-year veteran of the Hawaii Police Department. He was killed Tuesday night when officers conducted a vehicle traffic stop, Hawaii News Now reported.

When officers approached the vehicle, 33-year-old suspect Justin Waiki exited the vehicle and fired numerous shots, striking Kaliloa in the neck and leg.

Officers returned fire with Waiki, but he was able to flee.

Kaliloa was rushed to the Hilo Medical Center and underwent surgery, but was pronounced dead before 1 a.m. Wednesday.

A heavy police response flooded the area, shutting down multiple roads in the vicinity. Approximately 50 police cars and an armored police vehicle were seen in the area.

The roads remained closed on Wednesday and police advised drivers to use an alternate route.

Waiki is described as a 5’11” male of 145 pounds, last seen in a white T-shirt and dark jacket. Police have warned that Waiki may be armed and dangerous.

The Hawaii Police Department issued a press release:

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating the murder of a police officer who was fatally shot while on a traffic stop on a vehicle on Highway 11, in the area of Kukui Camp Road, Mt. View, Hawaiʻi.

On July 17, 2018, approximately 9:47 p.m., Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle bearing Hawaiʻi license plate number ZGG 879, being operated by a 33-year old male identified as Justin Waiki, of a last known Las Vegas address, who was wanted on an outstanding no bail warrant and multiple All Points Bulletins.

Upon officers approaching the vehicle the suspect Justin Waiki, exited the driver front seat and fired multiple shots from what is believed to be a handgun, striking Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa in the neck and leg area.  Other Officers at the scene immediately returned fire, however, the suspect Waiki, was able to flee into the brush on foot.  Highway 11 was closed down, while police searched for the suspect and process the scene for evidence.

Officer Kaliloa was transported by the Hawaiʻi Fire Department Medic Unit to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room where the medical trauma team began treating his life threatening injuries and prepared him for surgery.  Officer Kaliloa underwent surgery, however, lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at approximately 12:45 a.m.  Officer Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the Hawaiʻi Police Department, leaves behind his wife and three small children.

The suspect is identified as Justin Joshua Waiki, (pictured above) and is described as 5’11” in height, approximately 145 pounds, last seen wearing a white t-shirt and dark colored jacket.  Waiki is to be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.   Anyone with information his whereabouts is asked to call the police at 935-3311 or those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300.

The Criminal Investigation Section is continuing this investigation and anyone with information may also contact Detective William Brown at (808) 961-2384 or by email at [email protected].