HAWAII COUNTY, Hawaii (KITV4) -- A deadly police shooting and manhunt on the Big Island have now been linked, police confirmed Friday afternoon.
Investigators say they were following up on a tip on the location of attempted murder suspect Ronald Kahihikolo, who was wanted in connection with a domestic shooting in Ocean View on Mar. 7.
In following the tip, undercover officers found Kahihikolo in the company of several other people in the Kona area. Police said group was in possession of two stolen vehicles, a silver Chevy Malibu and a white Dodge sedan.
The undercover officers followed the Malibu was it headed south on Kamakaeha Avenue. When it stopped at the intersection of Kamakaeha Avenue and Palani Road, the officers moved in, and commanded the driver and a passenger in the vehicle to show their hands.
According to police, a man driving the car did not comply with the officers’ commands and began reaching for something in the car. That is when two officers opened fire, hitting the driver at least one time.
The driver took off following the shooting, crossing all lanes of Palani Road and down an embankment before finally coming to a stop. Officers approached the Malibu and found the driver suffering from critical injuries. Despite efforts to resuscitate the driver, police said he died at the scene. According to police, several guns were found in his vehicle. That person’s identity has not been released.
A passenger in the Malibu, later identified as 26-year-old Jacqueline Keanaaina, of Kailua-Kona, suffered minor injuries in the crash. She was treated for those injuries and then arrested on an outstanding warrant, police said.
As the first scene was unfolding, police say the stolen white Dodge sedan was spotted driving north towards Waimea. Kahihikolo was suspected to be driving that vehicle.
Officers gave chase and the pursuit wound through Waimea and onto Highway 19. Kahihikolo is believed to have ditched the car near mile marker 40 in a secluded gulch.
According to police, Kahihikolo was last seen on foot in the area of Highway 19, near mile marker 40, in the Lower Kalopa. He was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans.
Kahihikolo is described as being 5’7” tall and weighs approximately 215 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Police say he has a distinctive tattoo on his right cheek near his eye that reads “greed”.
Police say Kahihikolo is considered to be armed and dangerous. Authorities are asking residents and visitors to avoid the area while police search for the suspect.
One detective suffered minor injuries during the chase with the Malibu. They were treated at the scene.
This is a developing story. Check back with KITV4 for more information.
Matthew has been the digital content manager for KITV4 since September 2021. Matthew is a prolific writer, editor, and self-described "newsie" who's worked in television markets in Oklahoma, California, and Hawaii.