KEKAHA — An ongoing manhunt for a homicide suspect, who has managed to elude authorities for more than a week, created some concerning moments on Friday.
The search for Chris Santos, 48, focused on the westside of the island, as Kaua‘i Police Department personnel followed up on a lead that he could be in the area.
That potential development led authorities to employ lockdowns at multiple schools — Kekaha Elementary, Waimea High, Waimea Canyon Middle School and ‘Ele‘ele Elementary — at approximately 2:15 p.m. as a precaution.
“As the majority of students had already left these campuses at the end of the school day, students in after-school athletics and extracurricular programs were secured in campus facilities until clearance was received from the Kauai Police Department,” said Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent Daniel S. Hamada in a statement.
“School administrators and staff worked in close coordination with officers on-site and all students were kept safe and secure. The safety of our students is a major priority and we are committed to providing secure campuses. I would like to commend our students, families, teachers and staff for their cooperation.”
Santos is being sought for the fatal shooting of Kith Silva-Lacro, 28, of Kalaheo, on Thursday, Sept. 7. The shooting was reported at about 10:45 p.m on Kahili Mountain Road, the Kaua‘i Police Department said.
The incident also involved a second victim, who is currently listed in stable condition at an undisclosed hospital.
Santos is considered armed and dangerous. He stands 6 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighs about 250 pounds.
The search for Santos previously led law enforcement authorities to close off Maalo Road by Wailua Falls and Kuamo‘o Road near Wailua Reservoir early Wednesday morning. But after conducting an operation in connection with Santos, the roads were opened back up later in the morning.
The police department has also received reports of different individuals providing transportation for Santos. Those reports prompted the police department to remind people that providing such assistance is unlawful and punishable by up to five years in prison.
“Hindering Prosecution in the 1st Degree is a felony offense, and KPD will seek to hold any person identified as providing assistance to Mr. Santos accountable to the full extent of the law,” Kauai Police Department Chief Todd G. Raybuck said in a statement.
Santos, who has five prior felony convictions, was recently released from federal custody after being convicted of multiple crimes, including assaulting law enforcement officers and unlawful transport of firearms.
Anyone with information about the incident or the whereabouts of Santos is encouraged to contact KPD Dispatch at 808-241-1711 or the general crimes lieutenant at 808-241-1683.
People wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers Kauai at 808-246-8300 or submit a tip at cskauai.org.
Source: The Garden Island