A 61-year-old Leilani Estates man who fired a gun at a 32-year-old man from the same subdivision, which has been overrun by lava, may be a reflection of the high anxiety felt by Puna residents, a Hawaii County Civil Defense official said Wednesday.
“Stress is high; anxiety is high,” said Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno. “They’ve got this live volcano in their backyard. …They see strange people in their subdivision, whether it’s people just wanting to go see lava or true criminals, basically. And they’re trying to protect stuff.”
Magno empathized with those remaining in the subdivisions. “We each have homes, so you kind of can see it from their perspective as far as protecting what’s yours.”
Hawaii County police said Wednesday they had arrested John Hubbard on suspicion of first-degree reckless endangering after he allegedly fired a handgun at a Leilani Estates man.
Police Capt. Randall Medeiros said investigations in the area primarily have concerned property crimes such as burglaries, people running past barricades and unauthorized drone use.
“This is unique,” he said.
Ethan Edwards, who posted a video of the shooting on Facebook, claimed to be the victim.“Happy to be alive. Be careful out there folks. This situation is really beginning to take its toll psychologically.”
The video shows a white-haired man holding a handgun as Edwards walks up to him, pointing a finger and saying what sounds like, “You’re going to get f—- arrested.”
“Get out of here,” the armed man says, then pushes Edwards away and shoots over his head.
“Are you kidding me?” Edwards screams. “I live here on Hookupu Street, you f——. You get out of here. We live here.”
Police responded to a report of gunshots at 12:21 p.m. near Kahukai and Makamae streets.
Police said the 32-year-old and acquaintances were surveying the area of his home, which had been taken by lava, when Hubbard drove up, allegedly assaulted Edwards, pointed a firearm at him and his group, and demanded they leave.
No one was injured in the incident.