Kauai police: Fugitive drove toward officers before law enforcement opened fire

The suspect was found driving a stolen vehicle in the vicinity of Kekaha Beach Park Sunday.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:53 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 1:09 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police opened fire on a Kauai fugitive late Sunday after he drove toward a group of officers, KPD Chief of Police Todd Raybuck said in a news conference.

The news conference was held Tuesday morning.

Chris Santos had been on the run since Sept. 8, when he allegedly fatally shot Kith Silva-Lacro, 28, of Kalaheo. Santos has been charged in the murder.

Officers caught up with Santos about 10:20 p.m. Sunday.

He was found driving a stolen vehicle in the vicinity of Kekaha Beach Park, about a quarter mile west of the Akialoa Road and Kaumualii Highway Junction, Raybuck said.

Officers ordered him to surrender, but he allegedly refused.

Raybuck said an officer opened fire on Santos as he “drove dangerously, erratically in the direction of law enforcement officers.”

The car then veered off the road and plowed into a light pole.

Santos suffered one gunshot wound and was transported to Wilcox Hospital, where he currently remains. Raybuck said he’s expected to be released in the next couple days.

Raybuck also said two rifles were located just outside of the vehicle as the tactical team moved in to arrest Santos. A female passenger in the vehicle was released pending investigation.


KPD said no officers were injured in the encounter.

MORE: US Marshals join intense manhunt for ‘armed and dangerous’ fugitive on Kauai

Officials made several attempts to get Santos to turn himself into police custody so that they could “negotiate a peaceful conclusion to this situation.”

Kauai police and FBI officers had been scouring the county for Santos.

Last week, U.S. Marshals joined the search, which experts said signaled that Santos’ time on the run was nearing an end.

Anyone who may have helped him could face federal charges of hindering prosecution.

The family of Silva-Lacro says they want those people prosecuted as well, to the fullest extent of the law.

“Everyone that was hindering and keeping him afloat in the whole island and bringing him whatever he needed... that’s really horrible,” said the victim’s aunty, Maryann Manintin.

“If this guy ever makes it, jail for the rest of his life. Life without parole. Nothing at all,” said the victim’s mother Paula Bacio. “I don’t have my son. Why should he live a good life?”

“I will see him in court if I ever see him again,” she added.