HONOLULU- Police have charged a man they say is considered on video jostle another man and firing a gun in a mandatory evacuation zone near the erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Authorities told 61 -year-old John Hubbard of Leilani Estates has been charged with reckless endangering, terroristic endanger, robbery and other countings involving failure to obtain and register a firearm.
“Stress is high, nervousnes is high, ” Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters Wednesday. “They’ve got this live volcano in their backyard.”
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. County officials say 75 homes have been completely covered by lava, and roads have been constructed impassable.
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 have made other arrests in recent weeks within evacuation zones for property crimes such as burglary including firearms, and for flying a drone.
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 Wednesday without incident. He remained in police detention in lieu of $222,000 bail and was slated to appear in court afterwards Thursday.
Police reacted 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 residency had been burned down by lava, county officials said.
A video posted on Facebook and authenticated by police shows the back of a white-haired man with a handgun approaching another man followed by what appears to be a brief profanity-filled argument.
The man without the firearm yells to the other man that he would be arrested and screamings, “Are you kidding me? ” as shootings are fired. He ducked as the man with the handgun advanced toward him.
It was unclear if Hubbard had an attorney.
AP journalist Caleb Jones contributed to this report.
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