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Schools, highway reopen after search for robbery suspect ends

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:52 p.m. HST, Jan 25, 2011


Police reopened roads and schools near Castle Junction early this afternoon after ending a search for a suspect in an armed robbery in Hawaii Kai this morning.

Hawaii Pacific University's Hawaii Loa campus, Le Jardin Academy, Trinity Christian School's mauka campus and a daycare center at Castle Medical Center went into lockdown this morning as police searched for a man who was believed to be armed.

Police reopened Kalanianole Highway at Castle Junction and Kapaa Quarry Road at about 12:30 p.m. and gave the schools the all-clear to also reopen.

The roads were closed at about 11 a.m. as the police helicopter, the SWAT team and Criminal Reduction Unit officers conducted an intensive search.

Four suspects, three males and a female, were captured, but a fifth suspect remained at large this afternoon.

Police said two men brandishing a 38-caliber revolver robbed a Reynolds Recycling truck at Kealahou Street in Hawaii Kai at around 9 this morning. They got away in a 2009 black Mazda sedan and were pursued by police through the Sandy Beach area before abandoning their car on Auloa Road near Castle Junction.

The other suspects were in the car and police arrested them in the area. They suffered minor injuries and were treated at the Castle Medical Center, police said.

The fifth suspect ran into the brush, police said.

HPU spokeswoman Brittany Yap said police told campus officials that the suspect may have been in the wooded area behind campus. The university just resumed classes yesterday after the winter break. HPU canceled classes today, but will resume a regular schedule tomorrow.

The university said students could leave campus or go back to their residence halls, according to an email sent to students and faculty. Students were also restricted to dormitories and dining areas for dinner.

Le Jardin, a private school on Kapaa Quarry Road near Castle Junction, went into lockdown at 9:40 this morning after police informed the school of the pursuit.

A day care facility on the grounds of Castle Medical Center was also notified of the manhunt by police, and was in lockdown.

Le Jardin Headmaster Adrian Allan said all of the students in kindergarten through 12th grade were in designated areas within seconds of the notice. 

Trinity Christian School, across the Auloa Road from Le Jardin, also locked down classes at its mauka campus. The campus houses students from pre-school to 4th grade.

Nancy Shaw, the head of school for Trinity Christian School, said the students had just finished their monthly fire drill when police called at about 9:30 a.m.

Shaw said students have practiced how to conduct themselves during a lockdown.

"The students knew exactly exactly what to do and obeyed immediately," she said.

Shaw said three police officers were on campus during the incident.

She said parents were asked pick up their children and students were being called from their classroom individually as their parents arrived on campus.

Star-Advertiser reporters Leila Fujimori, Gary Kubota and Mary Vorsino contributed to this story.






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