Kauai man fatally shoots ex-wife before turning gun on himself, in front of daughter

Published: Jul. 19, 2016 at 10:56 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 20, 2016 at 2:53 AM HST
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Scene of incident (Image: Carroll Cox)
Scene of incident (Image: Carroll Cox)
Celestae Gibbons (Image: Family)
Celestae Gibbons (Image: Family)

PUHI, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 45-year-old Kauai man shot and killed his ex-wife in front of their 9-year-old daughter late Monday before fatally shooting himself, Kauai police said.

It happened around 10 p.m. in the Halelani Village condo project in Puhi.

Police identified the victim as Celestae Gibbons, 42. The shooter was identified as Justin Gibbons.

Police said Gibbons approached his ex-wife as she got out of her car at the complex. Their daughter was in the backseat.

The two started to argue, and Gibbons shot her, police said.

Celestae then ran into a nearby unit to try to escape her estranged husband, but he followed her inside, shooting her again and killing her. He then ran outside the complex and fatally shot himself, police said.

The two were both pronounced dead at the scene. The daughter was not injured.

Celestae Gibbons worked as a receptionist at Lihue Dental.

"She was charming and lovely," said Dr. Terry Allen, of Lihue Dental. "She was great with people that came into my office, very friendly and active in her church."

Allen said Gibbons had a special gift for calming patients.

He set up this fundraising page Tuesday, after learning that Gibbons' daughter, Pierce, will now be forced to grow up without her parents.

"He would call the office frequently and when he was told she wasn't available or she was busy he would hang up and call back again," said Allen.

Allen said the family of three moved to Kauai from Oklahoma about three years ago.

He said Justin Gibbons had a gambling problem and major debt. The couple just divorced last month, but Allen said Justin Gibbons didn't want a divorce. He'd constantly make his ex-wife feel guilty.

"I know he had threatened suicide to her, but he never threatened to kill her in the process," Allen said.

The news has left the community shocked and heartbroken.

"Celestae was a really big part of my team," said Allen. "She was my face to the public at the reception desk and she was wonderful. Just a great person and a great mother."

Pierce will be staying with her hanai auntie in the meantime. Her grandparents from Oklahoma are on their way to Kauai.

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