Woman fatally shot by Big Island police after pointing rifle at officers

Woman fatally shot by Big Island police after pointing rifle at officers

HAWAII ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Big Island police officer fatally shot a woman whose car was parked on the side of the road Tuesday morning after she allegedly grabbed a rifle and refused to surrender, police said.

The woman who was killed has been identified as 30-year-old Tori Kaneshiro, of Pahoa.

Police officers say Kaneshiro was found parked on Kahakai Blvd. in Puna by police at around 7:45 a.m. with her hazard lights on. Officers stopped to check on her, and a search determined she had an outstanding bench warrant.

When officers tried to get the woman out of the car, she refused, police said. She then allegedly jumped into the backseat of the vehicle and grabbed a rifle, refusing to let it go “despite repeated orders to do so by officers," a Hawaii County Police Department news release said.

“At some point in the confrontation, the firearm was raised and pointed at the officers, at which time the officers did shoot,” said Big Island Maj. Samuel Jelsma.

The woman was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her identity has not yet been officially released.

Three officers were at the scene of the traffic stop, and all three have between one and 12 years of service.

Police have opened a terroristic threatening investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the suspect’s cause of death. The county’s Office of Professional Standards is also conducting an administrative investigation.

The shooting is the latest on the Big Island involving an officer. In late November, a 42-year-old man was fatally shot in Hawaiian Beaches after confronting officers with a knife.

A month earlier, police fatally shot a 26-year-old woman after she allegedly rammed into a police SUV.

And in July, Officer Bronson Kaliloa was fatally shot during a traffic stop. The suspect in that shooting was subsequently killed by at a police checkpoint after jumping out from under a blanket in a vehicle and firing at officers, injuring a sergeant in the melee.

This story will be updated.

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