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Pāhoa Residents Evacuated After Police Respond to Standoff

January 15, 2021, 10:04 AM HST
* Updated January 15, 10:15 AM
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Jacob Walker of Pāhoa slept outside the police blockade after he was evacuated from his home due to a standoff behind his residence. (PC: Jacob Walker)

Some Pāhoa residents remain evacuated from their homes in Nānāwale after Hawai‘i Police responded to a standoff more than 12 hours ago.

At 1:41 p.m. on Thursday, police responded to a report of reckless endangering with a weapon at a residence on Plumeria Street in the Nānāwale Subdivision in Pāhoa.

“It is an armed situation with ongoing negotiations,” HPD spokeswoman Denise Laitinen confirmed this morning, adding it is not a hostage situation.

Nānāwale resident Jacob Walker said police came to the neighborhood at around 2 p.m. and told him and several of his neighbors to leave. He estimated at least 14 houses were evacuated.

Throughout the night, Walker said he heard shots fired, adding no police fired their weapons.

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“There aren’t as many police now, but at midnight there were at least a dozen and half on Kea‘au, at least a dozen and half on Kupuna,” Walker recalled.

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Not knowing the incident would be ongoing, Walker said he slept in his car at the police blockade.

“We didn’t know it was going to go on this long so we didn’t have food, water, blankets or jackets,” Walker explained. “It’s not been the best night, but I’m not upset police are keeping people safe — it’s unfortunate how it’s all went down.”

As of this morning, Walker observed some of his neighbors being let back into their homes. However, he remains evacuated.

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This incident is ongoing and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

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