Police continue search for gunman accused of fatally shooting officer

  • Officer Bronson Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the department, died Wednesday following a Tuesday night a shooting during a traffic stop in Mountain View. (HPD/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • Waiki
  • Hilo Exchange Club board President Jay Kimura presents an "Officer of the Month" award to Officer Bronson Kaliloa in 2014. Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the department, died Wednesday following a Tuesday night a shooting during a traffic stop in Mountain View. (HPD/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • Hilo Exchange Club member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' plaque to Officer Bronson Kaliloa in October 2012. Kaliloa, a 10-year veteran of the department, died Wednesday following a Tuesday night a shooting during a traffic stop in Mountain View. (HPD/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — The search continues for a man suspected of fatally shooting a 10-year veteran of the Hawaii Police Deportment during traffic stop on Highway 11 in Mountain View.

The officer, a 10-year veteran of the Hawaii Police Department, has been identified as Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa. The 46-year-old was a patrol officer in the Puna District who started his career in August 2008 in the South Kohala District. He was named Officer of the Year for the Puna District in 2014.


Kaliloa leaves behind a wife of 23 years, two sons and a daughter, whom police described as being “small children,” and a mother and father.

“This is probably the worst day in my 36-year career as a police officer,” Hawaii Police Chief Paul Ferreira said during a press conference less than 12 hours after the officer succumbed to his injuries.

At approximately 9:47 p.m. Tuesday, officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle bearing Hawaii license plate number ZGG 879, being operated by a 33-year old man identified as Justin Waiki, of a last known Las Vegas address. Waiki was wanted on an outstanding no bail warrant and multiple all points bulletins.

Ferreira said Wednesday that Waiki was being actively sought on no-bail warrant for revocation of his bail conditions. He said police initiated the traffic stop after receiving information about Waiki being on Highway 11.

When officers approached the vehicle, Waiki allegedly exited the driver front seat and fired multiple shots from what is believed to be a handgun, striking 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. None of the shots hit the suspect, Ferreira said.

“Two were involved in discharging their weapons, all officers have been placed on admin leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation and pending a check of their well-being. Anytime an officer is involved in a critical incident were concerned for their well-being, especially in an incident where the death of a brother officer has occurred,” Ferreira said.

Kaliloa was transported by the Hawaii Fire Department to Hilo Medical Center where the medical trauma team began treating his life-threatening injuries and prepared him for surgery, police said. He underwent surgery, however, life-saving efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at approximately 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Highway 11 remained reopened around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. However, police continue to search for the suspect and process the scene for evidence.

The suspect is identified as Justin Joshua Waiki and is described as being 5 feet 11 inches in height and weighing approximately 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and a dark-colored jacket.

Ferreira said Waiki’s record includes 37 arrests for various offenses and 16 convictions. Three of those convictions were for felony offenses related to firearms, drug offenses and forgery and four for misdemeanors including assault, traffic violation and contempt of court.

“This man is considered armed and dangerous. Do not approach him, do not attempt to apprehend him. Call 911. Call (935-)3311. Text if you have to. Get us the information (and) let us take care of it,” said Ferreira.

Though his last address was in Las Vegas, Ferreira said “he is a resident of Hawaii Island, he has lived in lower Puna, upper Puna, Hamakua, Hilo — so various locations around the island.”

While the scene of the shooting is the primary search area, officers are checking locales Waiki was known to frequent.

“It’s a concerted effort around the island,” Ferreira said.

The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Waiki’s arrest.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police at 935-3311 or those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide 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 961-2384 or by email at william.brown@hawaiicounty.gov.

Kaliloa is the fifth Hawaii Police Department officer killed in the line of duty since 1918, according to the department. They are Officer Manuel Cadinha, in 1918; Officer William “Red” Oili, in 1936; Officer Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, in 1990; and Officer Kenneth Keliipio, who died in the line of duty in 1997 following a fatal car accident involving an off-duty police officer.

“This is the first time in my 36-year career history that I know and officer has been shot and killed,” Ferreira said.


Gov. David Ige in a statement extended his condolences to the family of Kaliloa and his colleagues.

“He was a highly regarded 10-year veteran of the Hawai‘i Police Department who will be greatly missed. As we mourn this tragic loss, let us honor Officer Kaliloa and all men and women in blue for their bravery and commitment to keeping our families and communities safe,” he said.

  1. Michael M July 18, 2018 6:40 am

    RIP Officer Kaliloa, that scumbag was probably another one let out early. Show NO mercy on him and don’t let any other attorneys or judges let him slide.

  2. Jeffrey Moss July 18, 2018 6:57 am

    Very sad.But how? Hawaii has very tough gun control making it impossible for a law abiding citizen to arm and protect themselves.
    TRUMP 420

    1. Frequent_Runner July 18, 2018 7:57 am

      Pretty sure the officer had a gun too…

      1. Du Mhan Yhu July 18, 2018 8:05 am

        Yes, police are allowed to defend themselves from creeps like this one.

        Regular citizens are not allowed to defend themselves.

        1. KonaDude July 19, 2018 8:30 am

          Like now he is running loose armed looking for a place to hide.

    2. slimjim July 18, 2018 9:23 am

      the cop was armed

    3. BMPVisual July 18, 2018 9:33 am

      Maybe less 420 for you…

    4. antifaHI July 18, 2018 7:26 pm

      People like you IMPORT the guns the criminals are using. The HPD is against the gun proliferation in the state and has to suffer from it exactly like this officer did.

      1. Jeffrey Moss July 19, 2018 6:20 am

        People like me import guns,fucking moron!
        If a drunk driver kills do we go after the car?Knife killings,need more knife controll,troll?
        Antifa? No you are the ones working towards fascism and too fucking dumb to see it.
        Oh ya,TRUMP 2020!

        1. paul July 19, 2018 3:56 pm

          well said goddamit…

        2. antifaHI July 23, 2018 8:04 pm

          Yeah, that’s why we have a military armed with knives and cars! Trump-turd logic at it’s best.

  3. Paula July 18, 2018 7:39 am

    Another Officer down. How sad. Loving thoughts to his family and friends as they face life without him. God speed Officer Kailoa and thank you for your service.

  4. metalman808 July 18, 2018 7:48 am

    This guy was probably released pending further investigation for some other crime. And now here we are. Mitch Roths justice system isn’t working.

  5. Du Mhan Yhu July 18, 2018 8:07 am

    From the neck tattoo I saw on the HNN article, he will need a turtle-neck shirt to avod ID.

  6. ypupule July 18, 2018 8:11 am

    Suspect is a walking dead man at this point. At least, that’s my hope.

  7. ypupule July 18, 2018 8:15 am

    Mahalo for your service, Officer Kaliloa. Heartfelt condolences to Bronson’s ohana… family, friends, and fellow officers.

  8. 4whatitsworth July 18, 2018 8:59 am

    More and more bad people let out of jail early and tolerated here. Anyone else notice the folks with neck tattoos around more an more? That is often a sign that they are in gang or were in prison.

  9. Michael July 18, 2018 10:55 am

    sooner or later they find him and I doubt he will surrender peacefully .. with luck no trial needed and no one else gets hurt

  10. laakoc July 18, 2018 12:34 pm

    We need to crackdown on these people – serve maximum sentences. With all those convictions he should have been a lifer. About time we investigate the prosecuting office and judges. I would be willing to pay more taxes to build prisons for these criminals.

  11. Hannah July 18, 2018 2:49 pm

    Condolences and prayers for Office Kaliloa and his family.

  12. Big Mac July 18, 2018 4:54 pm

    I bet he’s been getting light sentences from local judges for years.

  13. KonaDude July 19, 2018 8:40 am

    Cops all over the country are being bashed for how they handle routine encounters that turn into shootings because the person being pulled over won’t follow instructions. This is exactly why they act the way they do. They have to approach every encounter as if it were the worst case scenario. God bless these guys and the crappy job they have to do!!

  14. sonneofmanisrael July 19, 2018 9:01 am

    How did this felon get a pistol in Hawaii? Honest citizens are unable to have them.

    1. Du Mhan Yhu July 19, 2018 1:49 pm

      Certainly we have them. Law does not allow you to use them for personal defense away from home. Only criminals like this creep carry them with impunity wherever they want.

    2. antifaHI July 19, 2018 6:44 pm

      Stealing them from your fake marine friend. Who hoards them and is itching to use them on old ladies.

      1. CH-46 July 21, 2018 5:39 pm

        Check in here to find out about the cop killer, and find you still beating that “fake marine” drum.

        Maybe I missed it, when did he claim to be a marine? I missed it. You were asked to provide evidence for such an accusation, or even quoting where and when the claim was made.

        Something else going on here with you?

        1. antifaHI July 22, 2018 7:02 pm

          Impostors?! You with the Trump-Turd avatar statement?

          1. CH-46 July 22, 2018 7:51 pm

            WTF, are you senile? You were asked clear questions and you start going off with some strange tangent about avatars?

            Trump-turd? Been hitting the bottle?

          2. antifaHI July 23, 2018 8:07 pm

            Fake marine avatar thinks I am an old woman. Trump-turd avatar thinks I am an alcoholic male. Make up your minds.

          3. CH-46 July 24, 2018 9:17 am

            Blew your last chance, it is quite clear you are a liar that posts slander solely in an attempt to anger those you hate, for whatever strange reasons you have. I am sure those frequenting this forum know that about you. There are a couple others here that seem to have the same modus of posting purely to attack.

            You and they are twisted creatures.

  15. paul July 19, 2018 3:58 pm

    please catch him….then kill this scumbag bastard……how the hell did he get bail????? Judges sometimes you disgust me….you provide no deterrent…soon I am moving to big island and bringing my guns with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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