KAHULUI -- Several shots were fired -- and no injuries were reported -- during an all-night standoff between Maui police officers and 22-year-old Josiah Okudara, who has been sought on attempted murder and other charges.
The stalemate began around 1 p.m. Wednesday when law enforcement officers from other agencies had gone to the residence on Opukea Street after developing information that Okudara was there. The standoff continued through Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
Around 9:30 p.m., several shots were fired, said Lt. Wayne Ibarra, Maui Police Department spokesman. Police did not return fire, he said.
Police Standoff in Kahului
Other details about the gunfire were not immediately being released and were under investigation, he said.
Gary Utterback, a Hoomoku Street resident whose home has a view of the standoff scene about 200 feet away, said police fired smoke grenades at the front and back of the Opukea Street residence and shots came from within the home.
He said it was hard to tell how many shots were fired.
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo
Special Response Team members and others stand near a Maui Police Department mobile command vehicle Thursday morning. Police were continuing a standoff with 22-year-old fugitive Josiah Okudara in a Kahului neighborhood.
Earlier, two women and an infant came out of the residence, Utterback said, and the smoke grenades were fired by police less than an hour later. Police with bullhorns tried to talk Okudara out of the residence after the gunfire, but the scene quieted down after midnight, he said.
Ibarra also said that two women and a child left the residence before gunfire erupted. It was believed that at least one male -- other than the suspect -- remained in the residence.
At least a dozen residents of neighboring homes were evacuated and sought refuge around 1 a.m. at the Kahului Community Center, which has restroom and shower facilities, according to Maui County spokesman Rod Antone.
Richard Fricke, who lives five to six homes away from where Okudara has been holed up, said he heard at least seven shots around 9:30 p.m.
"We were all thinking they shot the guy," he said, "but (now) we believe it's warning shots to scare the guy."
Around 9:55 a.m. Thursday, a group of Special Response Team officers approached the house behind shields, but they returned to the mobile police command vehicle a few minutes later. As of 11 a.m., the standoff continued. The command vehicle remained parked at the intersection of Hoomoku and Opukea streets.
Utterback said police were in on-and-off contact with the man inside the house.
Negotiators were remaining in contact with the man inside the house, Ibarra said, adding that they were trying to get a peaceful resolution to the situation.
Okudara has been sought by police for questioning in a May 14 fatal vehicle crash. Tiare Franco, 22, of Haiku died after she was ejected from a truck that went off Kahekili Highway between Waihee and Kahakuloa. Okudara has been described as a person of interest in that case.
He also is wanted on two grand jury warrants.
Last year, a Maui County grand jury indicted Okudara on charges, including first- and second-degree attempted murder, in connection with a July 24, 2010, shooting in a Waiehu neighborhood. A 30-year-old man was hospitalized after being shot in the thigh, police said.
Okudara also is wanted in a felony drug case.