Kaʻu man dies in police custody after reported shooting


An autopsy was conducted Wednesday, April 27, on the body of a man who died Monday, April 25, outside a house in the Hawaiian Ocean View subdivision after police responded to a report of a shooting.

The results of the autopsy are inconclusive pending toxicology results.

The medical examiner determined that 46-year-old Jonathan Watson of Ocean View had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left leg. Police investigation based on evidence found at the scene indicates that the wound was most likely accidentally self-inflicted.

At 9:51 a.m. Monday, the Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a man who said he had been shot. When officers arrived at a home on Hukilau Drive in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates subdivision, Watson, who had a bandage on his left leg, came out of the house in an aggressive manner and began fighting with the officers. The officers took him into custody.

While in custody, Watson became unresponsive.

Police attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until fire department personnel arrived a few minutes later and took over unsuccessful efforts to revive him.

Watson was later taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m.

As is standard practice when someone dies while in police custody, the Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigations Section is conducting an investigation into the death and the circumstances leading to it, and the Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative investigation.

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