Hydrogel gun shooting ‘prank’ leaves Hawaii man with welt and a message for the public

A drive-by shooting leaves a Kapolei man with a welt and a message for the public.
Published: Nov. 8, 2022 at 6:24 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2022 at 1:49 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A drive-by shooting with a so-called hydrogel gun left a Kapolei man with a welt ― and a message for the public.

Sean Tiwanak said he was walking his dogs along Kapolei Parkway when he suddenly felt something violently hit him in the neck.

“A car was driving by, and I heard a sound and suddenly something struck me on the side of the neck right below the ear and it was a sharp pain,” said Tiwanak.

He said that sharp pain was from a gun that shoots hydrogel bullets also known as water balls.

Tiwanak, who just got a heart transplant two years ago, said he tried to chase the car but it was too late.

“I still kind of feel a little bit shaky like I can’t believe this all happened,” said Tiwanak.

The Kapolei resident turned to social media hoping to find the shooter and within an hour he heard from a man saying the shooter was his son.

They both came to Tiwanak’s house to apologize in person.

“At the end of the day it was just a 15-year-old boy in a car as a passenger who ended up just for kicks citing it might be fun to shoot at somebody,” said Tiwanak.

“I ended up not pressing charges against a young man, because he and his father had the guts to face me and come out and do the right thing and make it right.”

Retired Deputy Chief of HPD, John McCarthy said the boy could have faced a serious felony assault charge.

“At the very least, it would be an assault in the second degree using a weapon,” said McCarthy. “And you’re talking about as much as five-year jail, and $5,000 fine.”

Tiwanak knows he could have forced the boy to face consequences.

He’s hoping by speaking out, that others will learn from the teenager’s recklessness.

“And just want to put it out there to the community that you know, to the kids, it’s really not worth it to put your life on hold or at risk because you’re doing something you think is a prank,” said Tiwanak.