Man Involved in December Puna Hostage Incident Indicted Following Hospital Release

A 33-year-old Pāhoa man was arrested in Honolulu after he was indicted by a grand jury for attempted murder and other offenses in connection with the December 19 hostage incident in Puna.

At about 12:20 p.m. on Monday, March 19, Jovin Chang was taken into custody with assistance from the Honolulu Police Department following his discharge from the hospital. The indictment charges Chang with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possessing a loaded firearm on highway, place to keep ammunition, kidnapping and first-degree criminal property damage.

Chang’s bail has been set at $271,000 and he is expected to make an initial court appearance on Monday afternoon via video conferencing.

At 5:39 a.m on December 19, police responded to a report of a shooting on Nohea Street in the Leilani Estates Subdivision.

Officers located the victim, a 25-year-old Keaʻau man, on the side of the roadway with multiple gunshot wounds to his body.

The victim and his 30-year-old female passenger were reportedly followed by a blue sport-utility vehicle in the Leilani Estates Subdivision that was driven by Chang.

Both vehicles stopped on Nohea Street where the two men confronted each other on the roadway.

Following an argument, the victim was reportedly shot several times by the suspect who then ordered the woman into the suspect’s SUV before fleeing the area. The victim was treated and released from the Hilo Medical Center.

An officer encountered the suspect’s SUV turning into a Leilani Avenue residence. As the officer approached the driveway on foot, several gunshots were heard coming from the vicinity of the residence.

The officer was forced to leave his vehicle on the roadway and establish a perimeter on foot with the assistance of other responding officers. The police officer was not injured.

Police treated the incident as a hostage situation after investigators learned the suspect barricaded himself in residence with the 30-year-old woman along with four juvenile females. During the standoff, intermittent gunshots fired from the residence struck the unattended subsidized police vehicle that was left on the roadway.

The standoff ended around 2 p.m. after the suspect walked out to Leilani Avenue with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his face.

A rifle was later recovered from the property. Chang was initially arrested at the scene on suspicion of second-degree attempted murder, but due to the seriousness of his injuries, he was released from police custody later that evening when he was flown to Oʻahu for further treatment.

The hostages, who are all related to Chang, were found to be unharmed. The juveniles were taken into protective custody and released to Child Welfare Services.

Anyone who witnessed this incident or may information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Grant Todd of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961 2381 or

Tags: ,