Puna Teen Arrested For Allegedly Threatening Other Students
A Puna teen has been arrested in connection with an incident that led to the lockdown of four Kea‘au schools Tuesday morning, Aug. 9.
According to a media release from Big Island police, a 16-year-old student was arrested for making threats toward other students. The initial verbal threat was made in-person and later followed up with a general threat the suspect allegedly posted online.
The threats reportedly involved the threatened use of a firearm.
Shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Puna patrol officers responded to Kea‘au High School for the reported threat involving a student who was thought to be armed. It was reported that the responsible juvenile was returning to campus. As officers arrived, the juvenile was observed within a vehicle on campus. As officers attempted to identify him, he immediately fled the area on foot into a nearby forested area.
Police immediately set up a perimeter encompassing two schools in the area and the adjoining forested area.
Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene to assist patrol in the search. As a precaution, four Kea‘au schools in the area were placed on lockdown.
The lockdowns were lifted at about 10:50 a.m. after approximately one hour, according to the state Department of Education, and all students are safe.
Shortly before 10:45 a.m., police located the juvenile and he was arrested without incident. He was not armed.
“Police would like to thank the community for their patience as this case was investigated,” the media release from the Hawai‘i Police Department said. “Police take threats of violence extremely seriously, especially those involving the use or threatened use of a firearm or other weapon. The protection of life is paramount.”
The Area I Juvenile Aid Section is continuing to investigate.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police department’s nonemergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact Detective Jenny Lee at (808) 961-2279 or via email at [email protected].
Those who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.