Hawaii News

Kīlauea man killed in blast caused by homemade explosives, police report

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On the evening of Monday, Feb. 12, police were dispatched to a residence in Kīlauea following the report of an unattended death, which led to the discovery of a man’s body. The deceased was later identified as Jasper Gunsell, a 37-year-old resident of Kīlauea.

Initial observations at the scene indicated Gunsell had suffered extensive injuries consistent with an explosive event. An in-depth investigation ensued, culminating in an autopsy conducted on Feb. 20, which helped authorities piece together the circumstances surrounding Gunsell’s demise. The findings from both the investigation and autopsy have led officials to conclude that foul play was not a factor in his death.

In light of the circumstances surrounding Gunsell’s death, the Kaua‘i Police Department is reminding the public of the inherent dangers of creating and handling homemade explosives.

“Such activities are not only illegal under Hawai’i law but, as this tragic incident illustrates, they pose a severe risk to the individual involved and the wider community,” the department stated in a press release.


The Kaua‘i Police Department also encourages the public to report any suspicious activity occurring in their neighborhood by calling KPD Dispatch at 808-241-1711.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can provide information by calling Crime Stoppers Kauaʻi at 808-246-8300, submitting a tip at cskauai.org, or through the Crime Stoppers Kauaʻi P3 Tips Mobile App.


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