LIHU‘E — It has been more than six years since Peter Bonfiglio survived a brutal attack from his housemate, who kicked down his door and shot him in the chest and head.
Today, he lives one-half mile from the site of his shooting — where he keeps a photo of his injuries from that night on his fridge to remind him how lucky he is to still be alive.
He is worried that his attacker could released from prison sooner than expected.
Jeffrey Simpson — who in 2018 pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted manslaughter for the attack — will appear before the Hawai‘i Paroling Authority on Jan. 24, where he will be seeking a reduction of his minimum sentence. Charges of attempted murder in the second degree, reckless endangering in the first degree, and carrying a firearm in commission of a felony were dropped in the plea bargain.
He was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years and a minimum of 12 years.
Bonfiglio still struggles from severe injuries he suffered in the attack.
“I had a life of being on the water as a boat captain and scuba instructor. Now I can barely breathe, I can’t move my jaw, I still can’t eat anything solid,” said Bonfiglio. “He already got a deal. Why does he get another deal and I don’t?”
Bonfiglio described the night of the shooting to The Garden Island.
He was in bed in his apartment on Kamalu Road in Wailua, which is split into four studios including one inhabited by his attacker. He started receiving calls from Simpson, who was drunk at the time, then heard him trying to get into his room.
“I saw the door fly through the doorway,” said Bonfiglio. “I was startled, I looked up. The next thing I know I saw a flash. That was a .357 through my chest.”
Bonfiglio described feeling the bullet pass through his chest and hearing it ricochet behind him.
“He pronounced that he was the king of the household,” said Bonfiglio. “Then he walked behind me, pulled my hair, put the gun to the back of my head, and pulled the hammer back.”
As he heard the click of the trigger, he ducked to his right, avoiding being shot in the back of the head and taking a bullet in the jaw instead.
The impact threw him onto his back. When he came to, he saw Simpson trying to clean up the scene, wiping down surfaces for fingerprints and putting the door back on its hinges.
Simpson fled the apartment before turning himself into the police the next day.
Bonfiglio managed to call 911, and credited the Kaua‘i Police Department with arriving quickly and saving his life.
“I pretty much flatlined,” he said. “I remember coming back to life in the ambulance.”
He was medevacked to O‘ahu, where his condition required him to live near the hospital for two years. He struggled with finances after the attack, and has been unable to afford certain surgeries that are not covered by his insurance.
Years later, he says he still does not fully understand why Simpson attacked him.
“He never explained himself,” said Bonfiglio. “At the parole hearing, he never said sorry. He never said anything.”
Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island