Man facing murder, attempted murder charges in Painted Church Road shooting

  • Hawaii Police Department officers investigate a shooting scene Saturday afternoon on Painted Church Road. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Authorities have identified the suspect in a shooting incident that occurred Saturday on Painted Church Road that left one dead and another injured.

On Sunday evening, with the assistance of the Honolulu Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, Brian Lee Smith, 49, of Honaunau, was arrested for second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, the Hawaii Police Department confirmed Monday.


Smith was being treated for gunshot injuries suffered in the shooting at Kona Community Hospital when he was flown to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu. Maj. Robert Wagner said authorities anticipate the 49-year-old being released shortly. Charges are pending.

The injuries stem from an incident that occurred Saturday afternoon when police responded to a call in the South Kona neighborhood. When they arrived before 3 p.m., officers confirmed one person was dead. The victim has been identified as 42-year-old Thomas Ballesteros Jr., of no permanent address.

An autopsy will be conducted this week to determine cause of death.

A third man was also injured in the incident. It was determined that the third individual and suspect, later identified as Smith, had left the scene prior to officers’ arrival. They were both eventually located and being treated for non-life-threatening gunshot injuries.


The third man was also flown to The Queen’s Medical Center and is expected to be there a while, Wagner said.

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation and ask anyone having any information on this case to call Lieutenant Rio Amon-Wilkins at 326-4646, ext. 230.

  1. sonneofmanisrael June 25, 2018 3:14 pm

    Batu bodder your bananas? What going on?

    1. Du Mhan Yhu June 25, 2018 7:38 pm

      Hard to believe this was just about fruit-stealing.

  2. Jose Vilchis June 26, 2018 8:26 am

    Hard to believe this was just about fruit-stealing.

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