HPD releases body cam footage from Hilo police shooting

The Hawaii Police Department on Tuesday released a 7-minute clip of body camera footage from a fatal shootout Sunday between officers and a Hilo man.

The footage is from the perspective of an officer referred to by Chief Paul Ferreira as a 13-year veteran of the department, and depicts the confrontation that ended in the death of 34-year-old Hilo resident Ryan Santos.


The video can be viewed at tinyurl.com/5rt4tja8, although viewers are warned that it contains scenes of violence that some may find disturbing.

The video depicts the officer entering a residence on Mokuhonua Street in Hilo to investigate a domestic abuse call at 7:10 p.m. Sunday.

Shortly after entering the home and speaking with a female resident, the officer, responding to the off-screen appearance of an armed Santos, shouts “gun, gun!” and flees, jumping over a lanai banister and taking cover behind a vehicle. Shortly thereafter, four shots ring out in succession.

After the officer flees further down the street, taking cover behind another vehicle, about 27 shots are heard in rapid succession, mostly in bursts of five. Ferreira said Monday that Santos used two firearms during the shootout: an unknown bolt-action rifle and an illegally constructed AR-15.

After a period of silence, the officer is then seen steadying a weapon before firing five times toward the residence.

“I don’t know if he’s down, Central,” the officer says into his radio. “He’s right by the open door. I don’t know if I shot him or not.”

Eventually, a woman — calling herself Santos’ “aunty” — emerges from the dwelling and says Santos is “on the floor” and was shot, but is awake.

Ferreira said Monday that Santos succumbed to his injuries inside the house.

In the aftermath of the shootout, a 91-year-old man in the house appeared to suffer cardiac arrest and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he died shortly thereafter.


The officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave as per protocol, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com

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