A suspect wanted in the killing of the first police officer to be fatally shot on Hawaii's Big Island likely remains hidden on the mostly rural eastern side of the vast island, authorities said Thursday. A manhunt has been underway since Justin Waiki allegedly shot and killed Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa during a traffic stop Tuesday night near Mountain View, a community that is a mix of houses on large lots and undeveloped property. Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the county police force, was struck in the neck and leg and died at a hospital early Wednesday, the AP reports. Other officers returned fire at the suspect, who fled into the brush. It wasn't known if he was hit.
The shooting occurred in the mostly rural eastern side of the island, which has been in the news lately because of the erupting Kilauea volcano. "As far as the lava flow, that really has no impact on this," Maj. Samuel Jelsma says. "We don't anticipate him going toward the flow. But if he does that would kind of corner him in." The eruption zone is heavily patrolled by the National Guard and there are many police checkpoints. Waiki's last known address is in Las Vegas, but he has a criminal history on the Big Island and is probably "receiving assistance from outside sources," Jelsma says. Kaliloa, 46, had been married for 23 years and had three young children. He was named "Officer of the Year" for his district in 2014.
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