FBI, US Marshals Offer $10,000 Rewards in Fatal Shooting of Officer
The FBI, the US Marshals, and now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are each offering $10,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of 33-year-old Justin Joshua Puamoiwalei Waiki. Waiki is the suspect accused of killing a Big Island police officer during a traffic stop on Tuesday night.
The FBI says Waiki is wanted on an outstanding no-bail warrant and has three previous felony convictions for owning/possessing a prohibited weapon, promoting dangerous drugs, and forgery.
Hawaiʻi County Police Chief Paul Ferreira spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, saying Waiki has 37 prior arrests for various offenses that resulted in a total of 16 convictions. In addition to the three felony convictions listed above, Waiki also had four misdemeanor convictions that included assault, traffic violations and contempt of court violations. The remaining convictions were for petty-misdemeanor offenses.
Although his most recent address is listed as Las Vegas, Nevada, police say Waiki is a resident of Hawaiʻi Island, and has lived in Lower Puna, Upper Puna, Hamakua and Hilo.
Federal agents say Waiki fired approximately five rounds during the Tuesday incident, striking Officer Bronson Kaliloa in the neck and leg. According to FBI reports, other officers on scene returned fire, but Waiki was able to flee into nearby brush on foot.
Waiki is described as a 33-year-old male, standing 5’10” tall, weighing 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has a tattoo in the front/center of his neck.
Waiki is to be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public. Tips and sightings may be reported by calling (808) 935-3311 or those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300.
Officer Kaliloa Remembered
Officer Kaliloa died after transport to the Hilo Medical Center early Wednesday morning.
He was described by fellow officers as “a loving husband to his wife of 23-years, a father to three children, two sons, and a daughter; he was also a loving son to his parents who also reside on Hawaiʻi Island.”
Governor David Ige said, “It is with a heavy heart that I extend my sincere condolences to Officer Bronson K. Kaliloa’s family, his loved ones and his colleagues. He was a highly regarded 10-year veteran of the Hawai‘i Police Department who will be greatly missed. As we mourn this tragic loss, let us honor Officer Kaliloa and all men and women in blue for their bravery and commitment to keeping our families and communities safe.”
Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, was a 1990 graduate of the Waimea High School located in Waimea, Kauaʻi. He joined the Hawaiʻi Police Department on Aug. 1, 2008 at the age of 36, and was initially assigned to the South Kohala Patrol Division.
In December 2010, he transferred to the Puna Patrol Division, and in 2014, his professionalism was honored by his peers when he was selected as the 2014 Puna Patrol Officer of the Year.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Officer Kaliloa, Chief Ferreira, and the devoted officers of the Hawaiʻi Police Department,” said Acting US Marshal Gary Yandell, for the District of Hawaiʻi. “The men and women of the US Marshals Service stand ready and committed to support your department in any way possible and to help bring Officer Kaliloa’s killer to justice. As a long time law enforcement partner, the unnecessary death of Officer Kaliloa is also a loss to the US Marshals Service and is felt agency wide. We will persevere and be there with your department until the end.” said Yandell.