2 women shot to death


HILO — Two women were shot dead in a Waiakea Houselots home late Monday night, and police have a suspect in custody.

Police are withholding the victims’ identity pending positive identification and notification of the next of kin.

At about 11:20 p.m., officers responded to several calls reporting gunshots in the 600 block of Leilani Street in Hilo. When they arrived at the scene, officers searched the interior of the house at 612 Leilani St. and found two victims with gunshot wounds, police said.

Sean Ivan Masa Matsumoto, 34, of Hilo was taken into custody at the scene on suspicion of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder, police said. He had not been charged as of press time Tuesday as police continued to investigate.

Police Capt. Mitch Kanehailua of the Criminal Investigation Division said a murder weapon was found at the scene, but didn’t specify what that weapon was, other than a firearm. Kanehailua said there were no reports of a disturbance at the home prior to the fatal gunshots.

Asked about a possible motive, he replied: “We’re still investigating that. We’re not sure.”

Kanehailua wouldn’t speculate on a possible time frame for filing charges.

“It depends on how long we’re up at the place and what we find there,” he said. Police have 48 hours after arresting a suspect to file charges, or else by law they must release the arrested individual pending further investigation.

Two children who were in the home at the time of the shooting were uninjured and are with family members, police said.

A check of court records found that Matsumoto has two criminal convictions in Hawaii, both in 2007, for misdemeanor domestic abuse and for harassment, a petty misdemeanor, but none for felonies.

Police closed off Leilani Street between Hinano and Manono streets and were not allowing either vehicular or foot traffic on the same block the shooting occurred on Tuesday morning.

Anyone with information is asked to to contact Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us. Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.