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Police call off search for armed man in Kapolei

  • COURTESY DAVID DONALDSON
    Police searched the grounds of a building on Kamokila Boulevard in Kapolei after reports of an armed gunman prompted an area lockdown.
  • KIMBERLY YUEN / KYUEN@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Police responded to reports of an armed man in the Kapolei area on Tuesday.
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Police searched for a gunman Tuesday afternoon through some of the dozens of offices at the Campbell Center in Kapolei.

Police placed the James Campbell and Kapolei buildings located at 1001 Kamokila Blvd. across the Kapolei police station on lockdown from 2 to 3 p.m., and continued to search for about an hour.

Gerald Tandal, a loan officer at the Hawaii Mortgage Experts on the third floor of the Kapolei Builidng said he saw a man pacing back and forth in the hallway with what looked like a silver and black handgun.

“He seemed agitated to me,” Tandal said.

He returned to his office and warned others, “You guys need to stay in here,” he said, then called police.

He said the man looked to be in his 40s, with a fair complexion, shoulder-length dirty blond hair, clean shaven, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 pounds, wearing long khaki pants and a plaid shirt.

Police from District 8 responded, and searched some of the offices for the suspect, while skipping others.

Rey Ann Jacob, a receptionist at West Oahu Dental Center, said a patient had just walked out and saw a police officer with a gun.

“He came runing back in and the patient got all paranoid,” she said.

Jacob said police told them to lock the doors, and stay inside until given the all clear by security guards.

The patient was concerned because his wife was waiting for him in the parking lot, but he managed to call her from inside, and he had to wait it out before he could leave.

 Police entered the office and searched for the gunman, and “10 minutes later, they said, it’s clear,” Jacob said.

Jacob said she was scared.

“All the cops are walking and running back and forth with their guns,” she said.

On the third floor near the mortgage firm, an employee with the MedQuest System office said, “Of course, everyone’s nervous.”

She said the public goes to a different MedQuest office one building over.

Her office is kept locked, as are many of the offices in the buildings.

A woman who works in an office of the Department of the Attorney General, also on the third floor, said: “I was nervous because we saw cops around the area to search our office.

Some offices, such as a pediatric office, posted signs saying it was closed.

Phillip Lieu, director of the Kumon center, said he had five students during the lockdown, the youngest being 4, shortly after the center opened.

He said he tried to keep everyone calm and kept the students facing away from the glass doors.

“It was kind of scary,” he said. “They’re holding huge guns — rifles.”

After the lockdown was lifted, Lieu said he decided to close the center.

“It was a little bit too risky because I heard the gunman hasn’t been caught yet,” he said.

Kelly Veniegas, who works for Old Republic Title & Escrow of Hawaii in the James Campbell building said he saw what he thought was SWAT team officers securing the building and in all the perimeters, and he heard an announcement over the building’s loudspeakers. (A police spokeswoman said no Specialized Services Division team was used.)

Veniegas said he was worried about his wife who also works in the building.

Tandal and others found it disconcerting the suspect has not been caught and worry he may return.

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