Maui News

UPDATE: Okudara Taken into Custody Without Incident

August 10, 2011, 8:59 PM HST
* Updated August 17, 3:46 PM
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By Wendy Osher

Kahului barricade. Courtesy photo. Click image to enlarge.(2

(Update: 4:06 p.m., Friday, August 12, 2011)

A two-day standoff in Kahului ended peacefully this afternoon when suspect, Josiah Okudara walked out from the home he had barricaded himself within since Wednesday afternoon.  Okudara was taken into custody without incident.

The County of Maui issued a press release this afternoon saying they would like to thank the Maui Police Department for their patience and determination in ending the stand-off situation in Kahului peacefully today.

The suspect, 22-year-old Josiah Okudara, surrendered and was taken into custody shortly after 3 p.m. Friday. Police spent 50 hours negotiating with Okudara since the situation began at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

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“Chief Yabuta and his men are to be commended,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa. “Their actions kept our residents safe and managed to end this without injury to their officers or to the suspect.”

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“I’d also like to thank the Red Cross for taking care of those displaced during this event and our residents for their patience. This was a bad situation that could have ended much worse had the community not kept their cool,” said Arakawa.

(Update by Fred Guzman: 6:19 a.m., Friday, August 12, 2011)

A standoff with police that began at about 1 p.m. on Wednesday continued this morning in Kahului. According to police, they are still surrounding a home on Opukea Street, where 22-year-old Josiah Okudara remains barricaded and armed.

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There have been some developments. Two women and a child left the house voluntarily at about 9:30 Wednesday night. Yesterday, at about 2:30 p.m., another man emerged from the residence and promptly was taken into custody.

Meantime, Maui Police Department Lt. Wayne Ibara said last night that officials were continuing to negotiate what they hoped was a peaceful resolution to the standoff.

Okudara has been a fugitive from more than a year on charges that include attempted murder. Okudara is suspected of shooting a man July 2010 in Wailuku. The incident resulted in the 30-year-old man being shot in the left thigh with a shotgun. Okudara is wanted on two grand jury warrants totaling $550,000.

Okudara also is wanted as a “person of interest” in a car crash that killed 22-year-old Tiare Franco, of Haiku, on May 14. Franco was thrown from a pickup truck that plunged 75 feet down a cliff off Kahekili Highway near Waihee Elementary School.

Authorities placed one man in handcuffs around 2:15 p.m Thursday. The man cuffed is not Josiah Okudara. Courtesy Photo.

(Update: 6:55 p.m., Thursday, August 11, 2011)

Just before 7 p.m., area residents reported hearing what they described sounded like five to six rounds of fire at the scene of an ongoing barricade situation at a home in Kahului.  Those near the scene say they also heard what sounded like more gas grenades being initiated.  Earlier this afternoon at around 2:15 p.m., one man from the home was placed in handcuffs and removed from the scene.  A  suspect still inside the residence is believed to be Josiah Okudara.  Maui Police have said that they are seeking a peaceful resolution and continue negotiations.

(Update: 2:15 p.m., Thursday, August 11, 2011)

At 2:15 p.m., area residents say they observed authorities handcuffing a person from the Kahului home where a barricade situation continues.  Witnesses say the person was from inside the home, but is not the suspect in question.  A loud sound heard prior to the arrest is believed to be gas grenades.

(Update: 1:47 p.m., Thursday, August 11, 2011)

At 1:47 this afternoon, area residents observed authorities using remote telescoping camera equipment at the house where a barricade situation is now 24 hours old.

(Update: 5:15 a.m., Thursday, August 11, 2011)

Law enforcement authorities remained on the scene this morning, engaged in an ongoing barricade situation at a Kahului home, where a suspect is being sought.  At 5:15 a.m., nearby residents said a SWAT van remained on the street, along with lights from the overnight operation.  Little activity was reported this morning, in what is now a new day of ongoing negotiations.  Residents in the area reported being on edge, with some saying they haven’t slept since hearing a burst of what they described as “shots” ring out last night.  *** Further details of the ongoing investigation are posted in the log below.

(Update: 12:50 a.m. Thursday, August 11, 2011)

Authorities remained on scene at an ongoing standoff in Kahului that began early Wednesday afternoon.  The situation, now in a new day, escalated last night when residents reported hearing “multiple gun shots” at around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.  Although there were quiet periods, authorities could be heard over a bullhorn-type loud speaker issuing commands to a suspect within.  At 12:50 a.m., nearby residents said they could hear the negotiating team again, repeatedly telling the suspect to open the door.

Various news outlets, including the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, have identified the suspect barricaded within as 22-year-old Josiah Okudara. a man who was named as a person of interest in a fatal May 14, 2011 accident that occurred at around 1:08 a.m. on the Kahekili Highway between Waihee and Kahakuloa.  Okudara is wanted on two Grand Jury warrants totaling $550,000 for a separate incident reported on July 24, 2010.

(Update: 10:09 p.m., Wednesday, August 10, 2011)

Maui Police remain on the scene of a barricade situation in Kahului that began early this afternoon.  At 10:09 p.m. area residents say the scene was quiet with little activity to report.  Earlier this evening multiple gunshots were heard from the scene where police have been negotiating, and attempting to get a suspect to surrender to authorities.  Few details have been released at the time of this posting, however, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

(Update: 8:59 p.m. Wednesday, August 10, 2011)

Maui police remained on scene Wednesday night at a residence in Kahului where they were conducting “ongoing negotiations.”  Various law enforcement agencies were on scene, but few details were being released.  At 8:42 p.m., Maui police remained on scene.  We received reports during the 5 p.m. hour of a SWAT van near the scene on Hoomoku Street.

Witnesses near the scene said they heard gunfire erupt for a brief period and described the operation as a stake out.  Those near the scene say area roads were shut down from early this afternoon.  As the situation intensified, law enforcement authorities were heard over bullhorns asking a suspect to come out with his hands up.

Those near the scene were told that authorities have been after the suspect for a long time and were responding to tips on his whereabouts.

*** We will post more details as they become available.

Additional photos:

Law enforcement remained on scene Wednesday night where they had staked out a home in Kahului. Courtesy Photo.

Kahului barricade. Courtesy photo. Click image to enlarge.

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