Gomes indicted

  • Walter Gomes III stands with his court-appointed attorney William Reece on April 4 in District Court as his preliminary hearing was continued to April 22. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — A Kailua-Kona man has been indicted on charges of terroristic threatening and resisting an order to stop in connection to officer-involved shootings and an 11-day manhunt last month.

An indictment against Walter Gomes III was filed in 3rd Circuit Court on April 9. He has been officially charged with 15 offenses connected to a reported shooting on March 20 and his encounter with Hawaii Police officers the next day when he led them on a pursuit that spanned from North Kohala to South Kona.

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Gomes was indicted with first-degree assault; ownership or possession prohibited; carry or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway; first-degree reckless endangering; two counts of second-degree resisting an order to stop a motor vehicle; two counts of first-degree resisting an order to stop; excessive speed; two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening; accidents involving damage to a vehicle or property; second-degree reckless endangering; reckless driving of a vehicle; and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on March 20 when a woman showed up at Kona Community Hospital with a gunshot wound to her face. Hawaii Police later encountered Gomes early March 21 where he was involved in three officer-involved shootings — one in Kona by Costco and two in Hawi.

According to police, Gomes drove toward police resulting in officers firing at the 41-year-old. Hours later, authorities found Gomes at the Minit Stop and Ohana Fuels in Hawi on Hawi Road in the North Kohala District. Again, witnesses say, police fired weapons at Gomes as he fled the gas station onto Route 270, driving toward Kona.

Gomes again came in contact with police at Old Camp 17 Road where officials say he crashed into a police cruiser. Officers again fired their weapons at Gomes.

At that point, Gomes disappeared into the North Kohala brush, evading capture for 11 days until he was found in Captain Cook where he surrendered to authorities without further incident.

Eight officers were placed on paid administrative leave as a result of the shootings involving Gomes. It was unknown as of press time whether those officers have returned to work.

The condition of the woman reportedly shot by Gomes is also unknown at this time, although police confirmed she was alive earlier this month.

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Gomes is currently in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. As part of the filed indictment, a procedural bench warrant was issued for his arrest with a $193,250 bond. A date has not yet been scheduled for when he will appear in 3rd Circuit Court for an arraignment and plea.

Gomes is still scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in District Court on April 22.

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