Suspect in Big Island officer's shooting charged with first-degree attempted murder

Suspect in custody after police officer shot in Hawaiian Beaches
Published: Feb. 22, 2018 at 9:58 AM HST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2018 at 5:04 PM HST
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Big Island police are investigating after an officer was shot in the Puna area (Image: Hawaii...
Big Island police are investigating after an officer was shot in the Puna area (Image: Hawaii News Now)

PUNA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - An hours-long standoff with a man who's accused of shooting a Big Island police officer ended Thursday morning with the suspect's arrest.

Police said the officer was shot late Wednesday when he responded to a home in Hawaiian Beaches, and remains in stable condition.

The suspect was identified as Albert Puu, 65, and police say an attempted murder case has been opened.

After the shooting, the suspect barricaded himself inside a home on O'io Street, and a special response team was prepared to move in Thursday morning.

But before that happened, a negotiator was able to get him to surrender peacefully about 7 a.m.

The shooting happened hours earlier — about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday — when officers approached the suspect's home.

That's when a man fired a single gunshot at officers, hitting one of them in the leg.

Authorities say the officer, who is in his 30s, was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for surgery. He's a two-year veteran of the department.

Police said none of the officers returned fire.

The incident prompted a heavy police presence on the Hawaiian Beaches side of Kahakai Road through the night, and residents living on several streets around the immediate perimeter of O'io Street were evacuated.

Police were also searching for a vehicle believed to be connected to the shooting.

Neighbors reported seeing as many as 30 police vehicles on site.

An ambulance was also called out to the area, and emergency responders arrived on scene as a precautionary measure.

Police blockades were set up at several major highway intersections leading into and out of the Puna district, but those checkpoints have since ended.

Police have launched an attempted murder investigation.

On Friday afternoon, Hawaii Island Police charged 65-year-old Albert Puu with first-degree attempted murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony,

first-degree reckless endangering and harassment. The injured officer remains at the Hilo Medical Center in good condition.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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