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Suspect in Hilo attempted murder case dies from gunshots wounds


Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 4 p.m. Friday (December 9) on Highway 11 in Keaʻau.

While conducting checks for a stolen pickup truck connected to an attempted murder investigation, officers encountered the truck parked in the Hilo-bound lane of Highway 11 in the area of Shipman Industrial Park in Keaʻau. The stolen truck was parked facing the opposite direction of the flow of traffic.

When officers approached the vehicle, the driver failed to comply with the lawful orders of the officer. The suspect drove forward, gunning his engine heading toward another officer, when the suspect was shot.

Police administered CPR at the scene. The suspect was subsequently transported to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The officer who discharged his firearm had three years experience as a police officer.

Stephen Whitney

Stephen Whitney

The suspect has been identified via fingerprints as 30-year-old Stephen Joshua Whitney of Hilo.

As in standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigation Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2383 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Rescue crews responded to a 4:44 p.m. alarm Friday (Dec 9) to the Hilo bound lane of Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11) just south of Kipimana Street in Keaau for a gunshot victim.

Upon arriving crews found a police officer doing CPR on the male victim who was laying on the side of the highway. Paramedics noted two gunshot wounds in the upper torso of the person.

Rescue crews took over CPR until the arrival of a medic unit which applied advanced life support as the patient was transported to Hilo Medical Center.

One lane of traffic was blocked during rescue efforts. The status of the patient was not reported by fire dispatch.

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