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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Gunman freed from prison 5 months ago

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer


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April 7, 1978: Murder (f)

March 10, 1982: Driving without a license, 2 counts (pm); criminal contempt, 2 counts (m)

March 29, 1983: Third-degree assault (m)

Nov. 23, 1982: Felon in possession of a firearm (f)

May 24, 1982: Possession of switchblade knife (m)

Jan. 25, 1984: First-degree reckless endangerment (f); felon in possession of a firearm (f)

April 3, 1984: First-degree assault (f)

Dec. 2, 1996: Felon in possession of a firearm, 4 counts (f); place to keep a firearm, 2 counts (f); possession of a prohibited weapon (f); possession of drug paraphernalia (f); promotion of a dangerous drug (f); driving without a license (m); driving without proof of no-fault insurance (pm); driving without a safety sticker (pm)



pm—petty midemeanor

Source: state Criminal Justice Data Center

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The Leeward Coast gunman who terrorized a Ma'ili neighborhood for more than an hour Saturday had been released from prison late last year after spending more than half of his life incarcerated for firearms offenses and violent behavior.

Two gunshots, one to the head and one to the abdomen, ended the life of Tracy Kaikealoha Henry Peters, 47, after a one-hour standoff on Kaukama Road in Wai'anae Saturday evening, the office of the city medical examiner said yesterday.

More than 25 police officers closed Kaukama Road from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Saturday after Peters was reported walking up and down the street firing a shotgun into the air, police said.

Peters was shot after placing his shotgun on the ground, pulling two handguns from his waistband and pointing them at Specialized Service officers trying to secure Peters' surrender. He was released from prison Dec. 1.

One officer fired the two rounds that killed Peters, police said. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, standard procedure after a fatal shooting.

Peters was arrested 32 times and convicted of 23 offenses, including 14 felonies, five misdemeanors and four petty misdemeanors. Since he was 19, he spent most of his time behind bars.

"He spent most his adult life in prison," said Tommy Johnson, administrator of the Hawai'i Paroling Authority.

Peters' life in state prisons began after he was charged in July 1977 with being an accomplice to Kenneth Allen Smith in the killing of an Army sentry. Peters and Smith attempted to steal a handgun from Army Spc. James Lee Veal at the Wai'anae Army Rest Center. Veal was killed with a shotgun, and Smith was sentenced to life in prison.

Peters was convicted as a youthful offender in 1978 and sentenced to four years in prison.

He was released in 1981 and arrested on Jan. 11, 1982, on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm after he was caught chasing a man on a Wai'anae street with a handgun. He posted bail and was released.

While awaiting sentencing for that firearm conviction, Peters was charged with two counts of attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm after Peters allegedly shot his girlfriend in the knee with a shotgun when she got out of her car in front of Peters' home on Wai'anae Valley Road on New Year's Day, 1983.

Peters also was accused of shooting at his girlfriend's brother-in-law, whom Peters thought was his girlfriend's new boyfriend.

After a mistrial when the jury deadlocked over a verdict, Peters was retried and convicted as a repeat offender of assault, reckless endangerment and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Peters already was serving a 10-year sentence for the 1982 firearms offense when he was sentenced to five to 20 years in April 1984 for the New Year's Day 1983 shooting.

He was paroled on March 2, 1995, according to Johnson, and later twice tested positive for crystal methamphetamine.

He violated his probation on Nov. 26, 1995, when he was arrested and charged with seven firearm violations and two felony drug charges after police caught him with crystal methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a handgun, according to the Paroling Authority. Peters was sentenced to prison in December 1996 and was released on Dec. 1, 2005.

Reach Peter Boylan at pboylan@honoluluadvertiser.com.