HPD finds man who allegedly posted threat of mass shooting at state Capitol
Honolulu police have located a man who allegedly invited the public to a “mass shooting” at the state Capitol and have determined he is not a threat, according to a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office.
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HILO >> Honolulu police have located a man who allegedly invited the public to a “mass shooting”
at the state Capitol and have determined he is
not a threat, according
to a spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office.
The FBI last week issued an alert in response to
a post on social media apparently by George Sopi, 29, that announced, “Mass shooting in the hawaii state Capitol this weekend who’s coming?” The FBI bulletin added that “Sopi has made other recent social media posts about violence towards Hawaii Governor Ige and other mass shootings.”
The threat was posted Friday on Facebook under video of Gov. David Ige’s news conference in which the governor urged both sides in the dispute over the Thirty Meter Telescope to halt all threats and hate speech in connection with the dispute over the months-long protests on Mauna Kea.
Honolulu police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said
in an email Monday that “the individual was located on the mainland, and it was determined that the threat was not credible.” She said police have opened a terroristic threatening case in connection with the incident, but no arrest has been made.
Police located Sopi in Arizona, according to Krishna F. Jayaram, who is special assistant to state Attorney General Clare Connors.
House Speaker Scott Saiki said Monday he will ask the Attorney General’s Office to pursue local and federal investigations into the mass shooting social media post.
“Statements like this, even if exaggerated or due to frustration, are not acceptable in Hawaii,” Saiki said in a written statement. “This is a serious matter. The Attorney General must take all steps to ensure a thorough criminal investigation and possible charges.”
“People need to understand that there are consequences,” said Saiki
According to the FBI bulletin, Sopi has a criminal history that includes assault, assault against a police officer and marijuana offenses.
Andre Perez, one of
the anti-TMT protest
leaders, said in a written statement Monday that “Mr. Sopi is in no way associated with our kia‘i (protector) efforts. We strongly condemn his
actions and urge everyone to remain committed to Kapu Aloha.”
Protest leaders on Mauna Kea brief the activists on the mountain daily on the importance of using only nonviolent tactics in their effort to block construction of the $1.4 billion telescope. “Kapu aloha” has become shorthand for the resistance strategy adopted by the protesters that is grounded in both nonviolence and Hawaiian values.
However, Ige on Friday cited a number of examples of social media threats and harsh language in connection
with the telescope dispute, and urged both
TMT supporters and
opponents to be careful about what they say and post online.