Child killed in apparent gun accident at Hamakua Boy Scout camp

A boy is dead following a reported shooting accident Sunday afternoon at Boy Scout Camp Honokaia in Hamakua.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Hamakua patrol officers responded to the camp, located off Mamalahoa Highway near Honokaa, for a report of an unconscious child following a shooting incident.


Responding officers and Hawaii Fire Department personnel located the lifeless child near the rifle range. The boy appeared to have suffered a single gunshot wound. Due to the extent of the injury, the boy was not immediately transported for medical treatment. He was later transported to Hilo Medical Center, where official pronouncement of death was made at 7:55 p.m.

Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene and are continuing this investigation, which is currently classified as a coroner’s inquest. Investigators are conducting “extensive interviews” with all children and adults who were present.

At this time, police do not suspect foul play in the child’s death.

The victim’s identity is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin. Police did not release an age or hometown for the child.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning to determine the exact cause of death.

“It was with heavy hearts that we learned of the tragic passing of one of our young boy scouts yesterday in Honokaa. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in their time of grieving, as we remain hopeful that they will one day find peace. No family should have to suffer the pain of losing a child, and we hope this incident can help increase firearm safety awareness so that other families will not have to suffer the same tragedy. With that, we’d like to ask all of our residents to keep the young man’s family in their thoughts as they face a new journey ahead,” Mayor Mitch Roth said in a prepared statement issued Monday.

The Boy Scouts of America confirmed the death in a statement saying it was “due to a reportedly accidental discharge of a firearm while involved in a Troop activity at Camp Honokaia.”

“The Boy Scouts of America extends its sincere condolences to the family of the victim, Troop members and the Aloha Council,” the statement obtained by The Associated Press read.

Anyone with information on the incident should contact the police department’s nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Jeremy Kubojiri of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section, at (808) 961-2378 or

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300.

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