(BIVN) – A Hawaiʻi County Police officer has been killed and the suspect is still at large, the day after a traffic stop on Highway 11 in Mountain View turned deadly.
Police Chief Paul Ferreira held a press conference in Hilo on Wednesday, detailing what is known about the investigation into the murder of Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the Hawaiʻi Police Department. Officer Kaliloa was fatally shot while on a traffic stop on a vehicle on Highway 11, in the area of Kukui Camp Road on Tuesday night.
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. After allegedly shooting Kaliloa in the neck and leg area, 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.
An emotional Chief Ferreira called the death of Kaliloa the most difficult moment in his law enforcement career. During the press conference, the chief wanted to “put a face to the name” of the fallen officer “to show how senseless his death was, by bringing the personal side of his life to bear.”
Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, was a 1990 graduate of the Waimea High School located in Waimea, Kauai. He joined the Hawaiʻi Police Department on, (August 1, 2008), at the age of 38, and was initially assigned to the South Kohala Patrol Division. In (December 2010), he transferred to the Puna Patrol Division, and in 2014, his professionalism was honored by his peers being selected at the 2014 Puna Patrol Officer of the Year. He was a loving husband to his wife of 23-years, a father to three children, two sons and a daughter; he was also a loving son to his parents who also reside on Hawaiʻi Island.
Meanwhile, police say they have organized a Task Force that will be operating 24-hours a day “relentlessly following up on tips and information regarding the whereabouts of fugitive Justin Waiki who is to be considered armed and dangerous. Waiki should not be approached by members of the public.”
Tips and sightings may be reported by calling (808) 935-3311 or those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300.