Court documents show Waiki's accomplices used Facebook to avoid cops
Three people accused of helping Justin Waiki evade police appeared before a judge in Kona on Monday. Waiki's accused of shooting and killing Big Island police officer Bronson Kaliloa during a traffic stop in Mountain View last Tuesday night
Four people allegedly involved in the manhunt for Justin Waiki appeared before Judge Margaret Masunaga in Kona Monday. Waiki's accused of shooting and killing Big Island Police officer Bronson Kaliloa during a traffic stop in Mountain View last Tuesday night.
Police believe three of the people who appeared in court today -- Jorge Pagan-Torres, Krystle Ferreira, and Malia Lajala-- were in the vehicle with Waiki when he opened fire on police in Ka'u three days later. Waiki was killed in that shootout. They were all arrested and charged as an accomplice to illegally carrying a revolver and "first degree hindering prosecution." Ball for all three was denied.
According to court documents, Waiki was hiding in the back of the SUV driven by Pagan-Torres. Lajala, Ferreira and another woman were in the vehicle as well. When police opened the back of the car, Waiki immediately started firing his handgun, striking Hawaii County Police Sgt. Bryan Tina multiple times. Other officers returned fire killing Waiki.
"It's nice that Mr. Waiki is not running around but at the end of the day we still have a great officer that lost his life and that's really tragic," said Hawaii County Prosecutor, Mitch Roth.
Court documents also show police "pinged" cellphones of Waiki's known associates to find him. They also found ammunition and what looked like heroin and meth in the SUV.
Throughout the search, people around the island kept lookout for Waiki by posting updates to social media sites like Facebook, but court documents say Facebook tipped off Waiki and the three others in the SUV of police's whereabouts. One suspect told police she knew Waiki had a gun, that he was planning to "shoot it out with police," and they learned through Facebook that a roadblock was going to be set up at South Point. That suspect is reportedly still in the hospital.
"With all the rumors and the things that were going around Facebook, and we've seen him here, we've seen him here now, they were kind of coming out and saying now he's been killed and, you know, it was hard to kind of take it seriously at first," said Erin Workman, a Mountain View resident who heard the gunshots Tuesday.
A fourth man, Harvey Damo was also in court Monday, Damo allegedly ran from police in Kailua-Kona in a stolen truck the day before. Police believed Waiki was with him. Damo now faces charges of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, terroristic threatening, resisting order to stop and reckless endangering. His bail is set at $54,000.
Pagan-Torres, Lajala, and Ferreira are all scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.