Neighbors recall terrifying moments of 15-hour standoff in Pacific Palisades


UPDATE 9/15/2019: Police say Wayman Kaua has been charged with attempted murder, terroristic threatening and multiple fire arms violations.

His bail is set at $1 million.


HONOLULU (KHON2) — The man at the center of a barricade situation in Pacific Palisades on Thursday is in police custody.

Wayman “Kaleo” Kaua was arrested at around midnight after a 15-hour standoff with police.

Hundreds of residents were told they couldn’t go home as police blocked off roads.

However, some nearby residents didn’t leave their home during the standoff because they didn’t want to leave behind pets, or they had children to take care of and didn’t know when they’d be able to return home.

Other residents said they physically couldn’t leave because they were in a wheelchair, but those who decided to stay said it was a terrifying day.

Carmen Tolentino lives next door to the house Kaua barricaded himself in.

She said she was getting ready for work when she heard gunshots coming from next door.

“He came back and started firing in the air and shot her [estranged girlfriend’s] car,” she said.

She points to a window and said she saw Kaua yelling and screaming for the woman in the house.

Tolentino didn’t know her roommate Josephine Knight was home, who was sleeping at the time.

Once she realized she was home she said they went to the corner of the house and stayed low.

“We closed all the windows and shades to make sure nobody can see anyone inside,” she said.

“You don’t know what to do, what are you going to do?  You can’t leave, the officers came and we were okay but what do you do?” she said.

She said SWAT officers were in her home within 10 to 15 minutes.

“They asked to be in the house and they set up a perimeter of where they could see the gunman,” she said.

SWAT then escorted the women out of the house.

“We were in single file, the officers were behind us and shielded us in case he decides to go crazy shooting and that’s how close we are he’s there and he can see us go into the vehicle,” Tolentino said.

A neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said her home became a safe haven for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to evacuate.

The neighbor told KHON2 she first thought there was an explosion where she heard the first shots.

“Ten minutes later, my dad calls and says ‘Don’t go out of the house because he just pointed a gun at me,’ and then he told me to stay in the house with the kids,” she said.

She said her other neighbor was elderly and in a wheelchair. She also didn’t want to leave her animals behind.

After hearing gunshots throughout the morning, other neighbors went to her house.

“This is our safe zone, they all came here, the cops told them to stay here and maybe around 11:30 a.m., the SWAT team showed up so I knew it was going to be serious,” she said.

One of those people that went to her house was Kaua’s estranged girlfriend.

“She was just saying, ‘I don’t want him to die in the house and he was repenting to god,” she recalled.

“[The girlfriend] was just panicking, I think she was in shock too because of what was going on so she was pacing back and forth over here so I had her sit down and I gave her water and tried to calm her down,” she said.

The estranged girlfriend told her neighbor that Kaua never kept her hostage and she left when he pointed the gun at his chin.

“That’s when she left, she left she said she couldn’t take it and walked out,” the neighbor said. 

The neighbor made everyone food and tried to keep everyone calm.

“It was kind of quiet throughout the whole day until they started trying to tell him to come out, ‘Come out Kaleo, come on out.’ That’s when there was another gunshot that went off,” she said.

She recalled SWAT officers in people’s yards and hiding in bushes.

“It was like a war zone or something. I was shaken up, I told my mom maybe I should have come with you down to the pool, I was freaking out.”

She said she heard more loud sounds around 10 p.m.

“They started shooting at him, he shot back and started swearing and they were telling him to come on out and I think he did come out,” she said.

She said he ran back in and yelled out something.

“Everything stopped for a while and I’m not too sure if they got his cousin on the phone to calm him down but sure enough he came out they shot one more round and they said, ‘It’s okay, one step at a time, come down the stairs, surrender, the ambulance is down here. We got you, you got my word,’ and that was it,” she said.

HPD said he exited the home and was taken into custody around midnight after officers from the HPD Specialized Services Division deployed less-than-lethal gas into the home. 

He received medical care at the scene from EMS and was transported in serious condition to a hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening gunshot injuries and for gas exposure. 

He was then brought to the HPD cellblock where he is being held for two counts of attempted murder in the first degree. 

Additional charges are pending. 

HPD said the investigation is ongoing, to include the status of the firearm.

HPD said officers responded to reports of shots being fired in the area around 8:40 a.m.

Police saw a male with a firearm in front of the home on Apoepoe Street.

According to police, the male refused to put down the gun and pointed it at one of the officers. 

The officer fired at and struck the suspect. 

The suspect then went into the home and refused to exit for approximately 15 hours. 

During that time, he fired multiple shots from the home. 

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