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23 April 2024

Suspect arrested after shooting in volcano evacuation zone

Photo: AP


Police have charged a man they say is seen on video shoving another man and firing a gun in a mandatory evacuation zone near the erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island.

Authorities said 61-year-old John Hubbard of Leilani Estates has been charged with reckless endangering, terroristic threatening, robbery and other counts involving failure to obtain and register a firearm.

No injuries resulted from the gunfire, but the victim, whose name was withheld by police, reported minor injuries from the scuffle.

Police say Hubbard was arrested without incident. He remained in police custody in lieu of $222,000 bail and was slated to appear in court later Thursday.

It was unclear if he has an attorney.

"Stress is high, anxiety is high," Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters. "They've got this live volcano in their backyard."

Residents "see strange people in their subdivision," Magno said. "Basically, they try to protect stuff. It's a hard time for the folks that are still in there."

Police responded Tuesday to a report of gunshots in Leilani Estates and were told by the victim that he and acquaintances were approached by a man in a pickup truck as they surveyed the site where his residence had been burned down by lava, county officials said.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano began spewing lava on May 3, forcing thousands of residents in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods in the Puna district to evacuate. Homes have been completely covered by lava and roads have been severed.