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KS Student Arrested and Charged After Reportedly Bringing Starter Pistol to School

March 30, 2022, 11:03 AM HST
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A 17-year-old male was arrested and charged after reportedly bringing a starter pistol to Kamehameha Schools campus in Kea‘au.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, March 29. According to Hawai‘i police, Puna patrol responded to the school at around 3 p.m. on a report of a student possibly in possession of a revolver at the high school campus.

Arriving officers learned that school security already detained the juvenile suspect and had retrieved a revolver from the student.

“Police contacted Kamehameha Schools administrators who reported that there was a social media post with a photograph of the juvenile suspect with the revolver which was viewed by other students on campus,” Hawaiʻi police stated in a press release today. “After seeing the social media post, school administrators became concerned for the safety of the students and faculty, and campus security contacted the juvenile and the revolver was found in his waistband.”

Police say the teen did not brandish the firearm at anyone and the school was not locked down during this incident.

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The student was arrested for disorderly conduct and first-degree terroristic threatening and transported to the Pāhoa police station.

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Upon examining the pistol, police say it was determined to be a “starter” gun that cannot fire projectiles due to the barrel being obstructed by a piece of welded metal inside the barrel. However, the weapon resembled an authentic gun.

“Though this firearm was not loaded or operational, we treat these types of threats to our schools seriously and will aggressively prosecute these types of incidents,” said Puna District Capt. Scott Amaral. “Working in cooperation with Kamehameha Schools, this incident was resolved quickly and peacefully with minimal interruption to school functions. Our children deserve to be able to learn and grow in a safe environment and not be afraid of gun violence.”

A letter was sent out to parents regarding the incident, informing them a high school student had violated the schoolʻs code of conduct.

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“Administration was made aware of a student in possession of a firearm on campus and security was alerted. Appropriate safety protocols were followed,” the letter stated. “The matter was turned over to law enforcement. HPD officers were able to determine that the pistol in question was a starter pistol typically used at a track meet to start races and is only capable of firing blanks.”

The matter remains under investigation and no further details are available at this time, the letter states.

“Once the full extent of details are known, appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken in accordance with our code of conduct,” according to the letter. “The student is currently on administrative leave indefinitely and will not be permitted on campus. We pray for strength and guidance for this student and the student’s ʻohana to work through this crisis.”

KS administrators encouraged anyone needing additional support to connect with a counselor or administrator.

“The safety and well-being of our campus community is our core commitment,” the letter states. “Our entire organization holds this as our highest priority and sacred kuleana.”

Police encourage students to immediately report to an adult if someone they know has brought a weapon on campus.

Police ask anyone who may have information relative to this case to call the police department’s non-emergency number at 808-935-3311 or Officer Robert Kamau of Puna Patrol at 808-965-2716 or email him at [email protected].

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