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Mother, sister, aunt, cousin: Victim of shooting in Jamestown described as loving and caring person

Nicole Gututala met Kevin Hoff in Hawaii when he was stationed there in the Army, according to Gututala's sister. They were divorced and have two children, ages 3 and 2. (Courtesy of Shayno Mano)1 / 3
A group of police officers stand near the scene of an apparent shooting Saturday, May 12, in Jamestown. (John M. Steiner / Forum News Service)2 / 3
Kevin Michael Hoff (Jamestown Police Department photo)3 / 3

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — The sister of a woman who was allegedly shot and killed by her ex-husband in Jamestown Saturday, May 12, described her as a loving mother and someone who cared for others.

Shayna Mano of Aiea, Hawaii, sent an email to Forum News Service Sunday morning and wrote that the person killed was Nicole Haliaaloha Gututala, 25, from Nanakuli, Hawaii. Gututala was currently living in Jamestown.

Mano said she wants people to know that Gututala was an "amazing mother, sister, daughter, aunty, niece, granddaughter and cousin."

Jamestown Chief of Police Scott Edinger said the shooting was reported around 3:55 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of an apartment building located at 503 15th St. SE and the suspect fled the scene in a white SUV.

About the time police officers were dispatched to the scene, another call came into the Stutsman County Communications Center from Kevin Michael Hoff, 27, Montpelier, N.D. Edinger said Hoff stated he had just shot his ex-wife and wanted to turn himself in. Hoff was taken into custody at the Stutsman County Law Enforcement Center. When officers arrived at the scene of the shooting they found a woman who had been shot and was deceased.

Mano said in an email answer to questions about Gututala that Gututala lived in the apartment building where the shooting occurred.

Edinger confirmed that Gututala was the victim Sunday afternoon after her family had been contacted. He said Gututala's body was taken to Bismarck for an autopsy and it could take several weeks before the results of the autopsy are available.

"The children of the suspect and the victim have been placed with family in the Jamestown area," he said in a press release.

Mano said that her sister met Hoff when he was stationed in the Army on Hawaii and the two married in 2013. They moved to North Dakota soon after. Mano said her sister and Hoff had two children, a son, 3, and a daughter, 2, and the couple had divorced.

Mano said Gututala was the youngest of seven children in her family. She worked at RealTruck.com in Jamestown.

"Here in Hawaii she was captain of her cheerleading squad," Mano said. "Then (she) became their coach when she graduated high school. She never turned anyone away."

Mano said Gututala was loved and will be missed by her family and friends.

"Everything she did was for her children," she said. "I know that if you needed her she was there. I know that we loved her and she did not deserve any of this to happen to her."

The Stutsman County Sheriff's Office, North Dakota Highway Patrol and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting the Jamestown Police Department in this investigation. The investigation is continuing.

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454
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