Ka‘u man, 61, arrested for attempted murder


A 61-year-old Hawaiian Ocean View Estates man is in police custody on suspicion of attempted murder after reportedly shooting a 66-year-old acquaintance Sunday afternoon in a residential area of Ka‘u.

A motive for the 3:25 p.m. shooting remained unknown Monday, said Hawaii Police Department Area II Criminal Investigations Section Lt. Gerald Wike. Detectives, who have recovered the .22 caliber revolver reportedly used in the shooting, were still processing the crime scene Monday.

John O’Leary was arrested and is being held at the Kona police cell block pending further investigation, Wike said.

The 66-year-old man was shot in his right upper thigh, suffering nonlife-threatening injuries, Wike said. The Ocean View man was taken by fire personnel to Kona Community Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Officers went to O’Leary’s home after receiving a report of a gunshot at a home on Reef Parkway, according to police. O’Leary was waiting in the roadway for officers when they arrived.

Preliminary investigation found that the victim and suspects had been longtime acquaintances and that the victim had traveled to O’Leary’s home prior to the shooting, according to police. O’Leary at some point allegedly fired several shots, hitting the victim in his upper right thigh.

After the shots were fired, a struggle ensued with the 66-year-old being able to take away the weapon from O’Leary, according to police.

O’Leary allegedly then struck the victim’s elbow with a baseball bat.

The 66-year-old then drove away in his car, still in possession of the gun, returned home and called 911, according to police. Wike said no other people were involved in or endangered by the incident.

O’Leary remains held at the cell block pending further investigation.