After more than 14 hours, tense standoff in Pearl City ends with suspect in custody

After more than 14 hours, tense standoff in Pearl City ends with suspect in custody

PEARL CITY, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After more than 14 hours, a tense standoff with a gunman who fired into a Pacific Palisades neighborhood and then on responding officers repeatedly throughout the day ended with the suspect in custody early Friday.

Police sources identified the alleged gunman as 51-year-old Wayman Kaleo Kaua, who was recently released from prison after completing a 20-year prison term. In a twist, records show that conviction stemmed from a similar 22-hour standoff with police in 1998 in Pearl City.

Kaua’s uncle said he and a pastor finally convinced Kaua to come out of the house at about 12:15 a.m. Police said they also used gas to end the standoff.

“When you’re in a crisis like this, just to hear somebody’s voice that you trust, that was the whole thing and that was something that we was hoping early on,” said Ron Kaua.

“I think when he heard my voice, when he heard Pastor Roy’s voice, that was the actual turning point. He knew that someone was there that he could trust.”

Emergency Medical Services said Kaua had a wound to his abdomen and was taken to the hospital in serious but stable condition.

He has since been treated of his injuries and released to Honolulu Police Department custody.

Wayman Kaua was released in March after serving 20 years behind bars.
Wayman Kaua was released in March after serving 20 years behind bars. (Source: (Image: State Department of Public Safety))

The standoff between the gunman and police began on Thursday morning.

Honolulu police were called to the home on Apoepoe Street at 8:40 a.m. after receiving reports that a gunman had shot at a car, threatened the home’s residents and then fled. A short time later, the suspect allegedly returned to the home, firing multiple shots into the neighborhood and at police as he ran inside.

Emma Garcia, who lives in the neighborhood, said the trouble actually started Wednesday when Kaua visited the Apoepoe Street home and threatened a woman inside.

Garcia said the suspect returned Thursday morning “and then all hell broke loose."

“He threatened her family with his gun and had it drawn and shot her car and then he drew it again and pointed it at the tree,” she said, adding that the suspect fled only to return 10 minutes later.

She said Kaua exchanged gunfire with police as he ran into the home.

[Read more: Pearl City gunman was convicted following similar hours-long standoff 20 years ago]

Sources confirmed that a woman who was a hostage in the house earlier in the day was able to get out several hours after the barricade started. And another resident of the property was also able to flee.

Shortly after the standoff began, police started evacuating nearby residents, using armored vehicles to get them out safely.

“They backed up the SWAT vehicle all the way to our front door and we had to duck down and crowd inside and that’s how we left," said resident Angelique Fujimoto.

Neighborhood schools were not placed on lockdown as they weren’t in the danger zone, but local bus routes were redirected.

Police said Kaua had holed up in the home by himself.

As the barricade situation continued, a large radius around the home remained blocked off and officers could be heard occasionally calling to Kaua to come out. He didn’t appear to be responding, but intermittent gunfire could be heard coming from the home well into the evening.

During the standoff, residents who live between Komo Mai Drive and Apoepoe and Aupaka streets weren’t allowed into their homes. A shelter for evacuees was set up at Palisades Recreation Center.

Cell phone video captures tense moments as gunshots are fired in Pearl City standoff

At one point, a shoving match broke out between the suspected gunman’s family and police.

They showed up at the scene and were blocked from getting close to the home.

Police on scene of Pacific Palisades home

#BREAKING: Police are on scene of a home in Pacific Palisades after shots were fired. Road closures are currently in effect. THE LATEST: #HINews #HNN

Posted by Hawaii News Now on Thursday, September 12, 2019

This story will be updated.

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