Hawaiʻi Island police identify driver killed in officer-involved shooting
Hawai‘i Island police detectives have identified the male driver in yesterday’s officer-involved-shooting as 32-year-old Kainoa Kahele-Bishop of Kailua-Kona.
On Friday morning, March 10, 2023, plainclothes Area II Vice detectives received information that Ronald Kahihikolo, who at the time was wanted for attempted murder and outstanding bench warrants, was in the Kona area, and in the company of several individuals who were in possession of two stolen vehicles, a silver Chevy Malibu and a white Dodge sedan.
As Vice detectives began canvassing the area, officers observed the Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Kamakaeha Avenue. As the Malibu came to a stop at the intersection of Kamakaeha Avenue and Palani Road, detectives attempted to contact the vehicle’s occupants. Ignoring the officers’ lawful commands to show them his hands, the male driver began reaching for an object, police said.
Fearing for their safety, two detectives discharged their duty weapons, striking the driver, according to a police press release.
The driver then drove the vehicle across all lanes of Palani Road and down an embankment before coming to a stop. Detectives followed the vehicle down the embankment and observed that the driver had injuries. Police say they immediately started life-saving measures, but the driver died at the scene. Detectives recovered two firearms after a search warrant was executed on the vehicle.
A passenger in the vehicle, 26-year-old Jacqueline Keanaaina, of Kailua-Kona, suffered minor injuries in the traffic crash and was treated at the scene by Hawaiʻi Fire Department medics. She was then arrested for an outstanding warrant and transported to the Kealakehe Police Station.
One detective sustained minor injuries and was provided with first aid at the scene.
As these events were unfolding, the white Dodge sedan, believed to be driven by Kahihikolo, was seen traveling northbound towards Waimea, according to police. Shortly before noon Kahihikolo abandoned the vehicle in the area of Highway 19 near the 40 mile marker in the lower Kalopa area, fleeing the area on foot, according to department reports.
Police conducted an extensive manhunt for Kahihikolo, who was arrested at 10:57 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2023, near Highway 19 at the 39.5 mile marker in the Hāmākua area.
Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation into the officer-involved-shooting.
The Office of Professional Standards has initiated an internal administrative investigation. The involved detectives are 25-year and 13-year veterans, respectively, and have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal review of this incident.
This investigation is ongoing.
Police ask anyone with information on this incident to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at 808-935-3311, or Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Jason Foxworthy, via email at [email protected] or at 808-326-4646 ext. 281.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300 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.