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Police Investigate Saturday’s Firearm Discharge in Pāhala

by Thunda

The Hawai’i Police Department is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred in Pāhala on Saturday afternoon, January 28, 2023.

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, two officers went to a residence on the 92-1100 block of Kaumahana St. in Pāhala to serve a restraining order on a 52-year-old male. As officers knocked on the door and announced their presence, several dogs could be heard barking from within the residence however, there was no response from anyone within the home and the officers began to leave the premises. 

As the officers were walking back towards their vehicles, an individual within the home opened the door and four to five large dogs exited the residence and immediately ran towards one of the officers. Within seconds the pack of dogs began jumping up on him and clawing at his legs.

As one of the dogs jumped up towards the officer’s upper torso, it snapped its jaw closed as if it was attempting to bite the officer. The officer, in fear for his life, drew his service weapon and discharged it at the canine. In an attempt to create distance between himself and the dogs, the officer took several steps backwards. The canine retreated to the carport area and succumbed to its injury a short time later.

The residents were able to escort the remaining dogs back into the house where they were secured without further incident.

The officer did not suffer any injuries and a dangerous dog investigation related to this incident has been initiated.

Additionally, detectives from the department’s Office of Professional Standards responded and have opened a standard internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the firearm discharge.

“Incidents in law enforcement can go from 0 to 10 in a matter of seconds,” said Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz. “In this case, the officer was charged by several large aggressive animals and had less than three seconds to react and make a decision on how best to preserve his own life. That being said, any loss of life is tragic. We mourn the loss of the dog in this case, who ultimately, was a beloved family member,“ adds the Chief.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Donovan Kohara at (808) 326-4646, ext. 267, or via email

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