Media Release (update)

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday (December 13) on the body of a man who died following an officer-involved shooting Friday (December 9).

The medical examiner’s preliminary results indicated that 30-year-old Stephen Joshua Whitney of Hilo died from a gunshot wound to the torso. As part of the autopsy, the medical examiner will analyze additional samples and conduct a toxicology study.

The shooting occurred around 4 p.m. Friday on Highway 11 in Keaʻau while officers were searching for a stolen pickup truck connected to an attempted murder investigation. While conducting checks for the stolen truck, officers encountered it parked in the Hilo-bound lane of Highway 11 in the area of Shipman Industrial Park in Keaʻau. The stolen truck was parked facing the opposite direction of the flow of traffic.

When police approached the vehicle, the driver failed to comply with lawful police orders. The suspect drove forward, gunning his engine and heading toward another officer, when the suspect was shot.

Police administered CPR at the scene. The suspect was subsequently transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The officer who discharged his firearm had three years’ experience as a police officer.

As in standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or [email protected].

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 4 p.m. Friday (December 9) on Highway 11 in Keaʻau.

While conducting checks for a stolen pickup truck connected to an attempted murder investigation, officers encountered the truck parked in the Hilo-bound lane of Highway 11 in the area of Shipman Industrial Park in Keaʻau. The stolen truck was parked facing the opposite direction of the flow of traffic.

When officers approached the vehicle, the driver failed to comply with the lawful orders of the officer. The suspect drove forward, gunning his engine heading toward another officer, when the suspect was shot.

Police administered CPR at the scene. The suspect was subsequently transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The officer who discharged his firearm had three years experience as a police officer.

The suspect has been identified via fingerprints as 30-year-old Stephen Joshua Whitney of Hilo.

As in standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigation Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or [email protected]

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a suspect in connection with a domestic-related incident in Hilo on Friday morning (December 9) that sent a woman to the hospital.

At 8:21 a.m., South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of an injured woman at an apartment complex on the 100 block of Banyan Drive.

Arriving officers found a 41-year-old woman with severe lacerations. Fire Department personnel took her in critical condition to Hilo Medical Center, where she is being treated for her injuries. Her condition was later upgraded to serious but stable.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the case as an attempted murder.

At about 9:02 a.m. Friday, patrol officers responded to an address on the 1800 block of Kaumana Drive after receiving a call from road surveyors in the area, who reported that a local male drove up in a grey Honda sedan. The male suspect exited the Honda and entered the workers’ vehicle that was parked near them and then drove off. Police determined that the Honda had been stolen from a home on Ocean View Drive in Hilo. They recovered the car, along with evidence suggesting the two cases are related.

Police are looking for the worker’s vehicle, which is a grey 2010 Nissan Frontier pickup truck, license plate 318 HDS. It has a white camper shell and aluminum racks.

Police are also looking for 30-year-old Stephen Joshua Whitney. He is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-8, 170 pounds with brown eyes and short black hair. He has tattoos on his neck, left ear, inner forearm and one on his left temple that says “Do or Die.”

Police caution the public not to approach him if they know his whereabouts but, instead, to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Kayne Kelii at 961-2378 or [email protected].

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.