Man Identified in Hawaiian Beaches Suicide

The Hawai‘i Island Police Department reports that an autopsy was held today on the man who shot himself, ending the standoff with police in Hawaiian Beaches earlier this week.

The standoff the Hawaiʻi Island Police Department had been investigating involving a lone, barricaded man in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision in lower Puna came to an end with the subject taking his own life just before 1 p.m., today, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. PC: Anna Pelayo

Hawai‘i Island police have identified the man as 51-year-old Keith K. Cummings of Pāhoa. The pathologist was able to confirm that he died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death has been determined to be suicide.

Tuesday morning, Jan. 9, 2018 at about 12:20 a.m., patrol officers responded to a report of gunshots fired at a residence on Kamanu Street in Hawaiian Beaches. Upon their arrival, officers were confronted by a male with a firearm seated within a vehicle parked in the driveway of a residence. Several more shots were fired upon the officers’ arrival, though it is unclear if any shots were directed at the officers. The occupant of the residence was able to leave home safely and is physically unharmed.

The department’s Special Response Team responded to the scene and crisis negotiators established communication with the suspect who remained in his vehicle.

Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Former State Rep. Kawakami

Gov. David Ige has ordered that the flags of the United States and State of Hawai‘i shall be flown at half-staff at all state offices and agencies, as well as the Hawai‘i National Guard, as a mark of respect for the late former Hawai‘i State Rep. Bertha Kawakami, on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.

“Rep. Kawakami positively influenced the lives of many of Hawai‘i’s youth while serving at the Hawai‘i State Department of Education for more than 30 years,” said Gov. David Ige. “I first knew her as an educator on O‘ahu. Throughout her lifetime, she was committed to working for Hawai‘i, and making our state a better place to live. To Bertha’s family, may you find peace in knowing that her memory will live on in the hearts of those whose lives she touched.”

Flags will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, Jan. 13, the day of Kawakami’s memorial service.

Hilo Attorneys Recognized for Assisting 1,000 People in 2017

Attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 for providing free legal information to more than 1,000 people on Hawai‘i Island who sought assistance at the Hilo Courthouse Self-Help Center in 2017. This is the most the Hilo Self-Help Center has ever served in a single year.

Forty-seven attorneys were recognized during the Hilo Self-Help Center Recognition Awards. Courtesy photo.

The Hilo Self-Help Center was established in July 2012 as part of the Hawai‘i State Judiciary’s commitment to increasing access to justice in the courts. Since opening, more than 4,900 people have been assisted by volunteer attorneys providing legal information on civil matters, such as temporary restraining orders and divorce. These services have been provided at almost no cost to the state.

“I am grateful to the attorneys who volunteer at our Self-Help Centers, assisting individuals who are representing themselves in court,” said Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “The dedication and commitment of these attorneys has been essential to advancing our goal of ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice in our civil courts.”

Volunteers were recognized for their service by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Third Circuit Chief Judge Greg Nakamura, Chief Court Administrator Lester Oshiro, and Deputy Chief Court Administrators Cheryl Salmo and Dawn West.

The individual attorneys who were honored are: Francis Alcain, Lincoln Ashida, Chris Bridges, Michael Garbarino, Kenneth Goodenow, Jo Anne Goya, Belinda Hall, Doug Halsted, Paul Hamano, Jill Hasegawa, Ray Hasegawa, Charles Heaukulani, William Heflin, Mahilani Hiatt, Ted Hong, Austin Hsu, Michael Kagami, Haaheo Kahoohalahala, Edith Kawai, Jo Kim, Nelson Kinoshita, Al Konishi, Peter Kubota, Breann Larios, Bruce Larson, Justin Lee, Dwayne Lerma, Shaunda Liu, Jacky Mena, Jeff Ng, Jennifer Ng, Michelle Oishi, Danny Patel, Melody Parker, Christopher Rothfus, Jill Razov, Joy San Buenaventura, Chris Schlueter, Steven Strauss, Andrew Son, Albert Thompson, Sylvia Wan, Molly Ward, Jennifer Wharton, Zachary Wingert, Jay Yoshimoto and Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter.

Also acknowledged was AmeriCorps Advocate Katie Kamelamela, who, through the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, organizes the Self-Help Center at the Hilo Courthouse each week.

“I am pleased by the support the Hawai‘i County Bar Association and our local attorneys have given to this effort,” said Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii’s Hilo Office Laura Knudsen. “Every week, Hawai‘i Island residents use the Hilo Self-Help Center to gain information and receive procedural support in navigating the court system so that they may represent themselves in their legal affairs. With the donation of their time and expertise, today’s honorees are helping to make access to justice a reality for our Hawai‘i Island community.”

The Chief Justice and Knudsen also thanked the Hawai‘i County Bar Association, the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i, and the Access to Justice Commission for their support of the Judiciary’s efforts to bring self-help services to Hawai‘i residents statewide.

Attorneys who would like to become involved with the Hilo or Kona Self-Help Centers are invited to contact the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i about the next volunteer attorney training. Information is available online.

For more information on the Self-Help Centers, visit the Hawai‘i State Judiciary website and click on the “Self-Help” tab near the top of the page.