Homeless man still in hospital after shooting at country club

A 59-year-old homeless man remained hospitalized Monday, after being arrested for shooting at golfers with a pellet rifle Sunday at the Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville, police said.

The suspect was released pending further investigation of multiple counts of attempted second-degree assault, first-degree terroristic threatening and first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, police said.

Police responded to the 12:24 p.m. report of the pellet-gun shooting near the 8th hole of the golf course.

Seven golfers were shot at, with the shots coming from kiawe brush and hitting one golfer in his upper right arm, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The injured golfer, 49-year-old Paia resident Paul Peters, said he was shot as he and other golfers ran toward a wooded area where the shots were coming from to converge on the shooter.

The golfers chased the suspect farther into the brush to his campsite, Rego said, and directed police officers to the location.

Witnesses reported that 25 to 30 shots were fired, with the shooter popping out from a tent to fire off rounds.

Rego said the suspect shot at the golfers and responding police officers, hitting one officer in the upper chest. The officer, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, continued advancing toward the suspect and tried to Taser him, Rego said.

When the Taser missed the suspect, he rushed the officer and hit the officer several times with the pellet rifle while the officer used his baton to strike the suspect and force him to drop the rifle, Rego said.

He said the suspect continued to fight and kick as another officer tried to subdue him. He was hit in facial areas several times until he gave up and was handcuffed, Rego said. The suspect continued yelling at the officers and spitting blood from a cut on his mouth onto the officers.

The suspect was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was admitted into the intensive-care unit for facial injuries, police said. He was facing possible surgery, police said.

Peters was treated and released from the hospital emergency room Sunday.

Two police officers also were treated and released at the hospital after the suspect spit blood on them, police said. One of the officers also was treated for bruises and a pellet wound to his upper chest, as well as an abrasion and bruising to his knees from struggling with the suspect, police said.

Before the shooting Sunday, Rego said police were investigating the shooting with a pellet rifle of another golfer at the country club on Wednesday. Dr. John Mills, a hospital emergency room physician, was shot in his right thumb while golfing on the 8th hole.

Rego said police believe the cases are related, with a pellet removed from Mills’ thumb matching pellets used by the suspect in the shooting Sunday.

On Sunday, police recovered the suspect’s pellet rifle as well as numerous pellet ammunition from his campsite near the golf course, Rego said.

He said the attacks appeared to be unprovoked.

Rego said police don’t recommend that civilians approach and pursue a suspect, especially one that’s armed with a weapon.

“Just call the police,” he said.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.