Police standoff that left motorists stranded on Kamehameha... - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Police standoff that left motorists stranded on Kamehameha Highway ends peacefully

Christy Cooper Christy Cooper
Kaulana Pakele Kaulana Pakele
Lt. John Vines Lt. John Vines

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KUALOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A police standoff that forced a three-hour shutdown of Kamehameha Highway between Kualoa and Kaaawa ended peacefully Wednesday.

Christy Cooper waited anxiously at a police roadblock, thinking that it just might be her uncle, Scott Lee, 30, holed up in a house with a rifle.

"Really concerned," she said. "My brother's hunting gun is gone and they're saying the guy has a rifle so..."

Officers with HPD's Specialized Services Division took off for an aerial view of the home, as their incident command vehicle and additional heavily-armed officers arrived at the staging area at Kualoa Ranch.

Kaulana Pakele and his friend hustled out of the danger zone on police orders.

"What were you told?" this reporter asked.

"That there was a guy with a gun," Pakele replied. "He said that he wanted to shoot somebody just right out by the point."

Cars slowed to a crawl, with some drivers giving up and pulling over on the narrow shoulder, as Kamehameha Highway, the main traffic artery connecting Kualoa and Kaaawa, was severed.

"My kids are at Kaaawa Elementary," Kathryn York, stranded driver, said. "Just wondering if the school is on lockdown, what the situation is, where the gunman is. We don't have a lot of information at this point."

Police say at about 1:30 PM, the suspect entered a beach rental house and robbed the occupant at gunpoint. The victim was not injured.

The gunman then stepped out onto the highway.

"With rifle still in hand, he tried to get into some cars that were passing," Lt. John Vines, Honolulu Police Department, said. "He was unsuccessful of that. He went back down into the housing."

Officers moved in and surrounded the second home that the suspect entered.

The man, later confirmed to be Scott Lee, eventually surrendered, and was taken into custody on suspicion of robbery and attempted robbery.

After more than three hours, the highway was re-opened.

"Because the suspect was armed and we didn't have him under control, we didn't want to jeopardize the public's safety," Vines said. "We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is necessary for the safety of everyone."

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