Suspect in Hilo double murder charged

Police arrest suspect, investigate double murder in Hilo
Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto
Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto

Two women are dead and one man is in custody accused of shooting them overnight in Hilo. Police believe the victims were a mother and her daughter, allegedly killed by the daughter's boyfriend.

34-year-old Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto has been charged with one count of first degree murder, two counts of second degree murder, and firearm charges. He is being held without bail.

"He was found at the scene. He didn't resist. He was taken into custody by patrol officers," said Capt. Mitch Kanehailua with the Hilo Police, Criminal Investigation Division. "We did locate the firearm that was used."

Hilo police responded to the home in the 600 block of Leilani Street after several 9-1-1 callers reported hearing gunshots just after 11 p.m. Monday.

"I heard this loud blast and I thought wow that's too loud for a firecracker, and it was not too long after that I heard the second shot, and I looked at the clock and it was 11:19 p.m. when I heard the third one," said neighbor Jerry Graham.

When police arrived at the scene, they discovered two women were shot. They were taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.

According to detectives, there were also two children inside the home at the time of the shooting. Police can't confirm whether they saw what happened, but say one child is one of the victim's and the other is the suspect's. Both are under the age of 17.

"The children were not injured in any way-- they are being cared for by other family members right now," said Capt. Kanehailua.

This was not the suspect's first brush with the law. Matsumoto was arrested 2006 and convicted in 2007 on one count of abuse of a family or household member and one count of harassment. He served two days in jail and was put on probation for two years. Matsumoto has been arrested four other times, but never charged. Police wouldn't say if they've previously responded to domestic disturbance calls at the residence.

Police are asking the public to avoid the area as there are road closures between Hinano and Manono Streets, which will remain closed while detectives conduct further investigations.

"I'm sorry to see that kind of violence happen," said Graham.

According to Hilo police, this is the fourth murder this year. There were a total of 5 murders in 2012.

"It's unusual," said Capt. Kanehailua. "In my career—and I've been on 28 years—I haven't seen this many of these violent-type incidents in this quick a time."

Hilo police say the victims will not been identified until officials can notify their family. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Matsumoto still has not been charged.

Police ask that anyone with information on this case to call Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or email at or Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or email at

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