Hawaiʻi Island police have charged a 42-year-old Kona man with murder and other offenses in connection with a shooting earlier this week in Hilo.
At 11 p.m. Wednesday (January 6), after conferring with prosecutors, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section charged Valentine Kapiolani Gonsalves Jr. with second-degree murder, first-degree reckless endangering, possession of a loaded firearm, and use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony. His bail was set at $507,000 and he is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Thursday (January 7).
The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Keith Nakoa Gonsalves of Hilo. An autopsy conducted Wednesday determined that he died from a gunshot would to the neck.
The case began Monday night (January 4) when South Hilo Patrol officers responded to an 11:56 p.m. report of a shooting in the upper Waiākea Uka area of Hilo. A 47-year-old Hilo man reported that he had been threatened during a verbal confrontation by a man in a car outside his house on Alaloa Road. Witnesses reported that a shot was fired and that the vehicle then left the area. Officers were unable to locate a shooting victim. They initiated a first-degree terroristic threatening investigation and began to search for the vehicle.
Shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, police received information that led them to a silver Honda sports-utility vehicle parked against the flow of traffic on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway in the area of the 27-mile marker. Responding officers discovered an unresponsive man in the SUV. Detectives ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police continue to ask any motorists who may have seen the silver Honda SUV parked along the highway, may have seen a man hitchhiking toward the Kona direction, or may have picked up a hitchhiker and taken him to Kona to contact either Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or [email protected] or Detective Grant Todd at 961-2385 [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 $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribed to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.