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17-year-old charged for allegedly threatening students, prompting lockdown at 3 Big Island schools

A 17-year old boy arrested by Hawaii county police this morning after he allegedly threatened other students with the use of a firearm was charged shortly before 2:30 p.m. with first degree terroristic threatening, according to a release from the Hawaii Police Department.

The teenager initially threatened other students in person and later posted his threat online. At about 8:30 a.m., Puna patrol officers responded to a call from Keaau High School of a student returning to campus with a gun, according to police.

“As officers arrived, the juvenile was observed within a vehicle on campus, and as officers attempted to identify him, he immediately fled the area on foot into a nearby forested area,” according to Hawaii police.

Officers immediately set up a perimeter encompassing two area schools and the adjoining forested area, police said. Keaau High School, Keaau Intermediate and Elementary as well Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalaniopuu immersion school were locked down.

Area I Criminal Investigation Division officers helped patrol officers search for the 17-year-old. A little before 10:45 a.m., police found the teenager and arrested him. The 17-year-old was unarmed when officers arrested him.

According to Hawaii Revised Statues §707-716, one of the conditions leading to a charge of terroristic threatening in the first degree is if the person commits terroristic threatening “with the use of a dangerous instrument or a simulated firearm.”

After the 17-year-old was charged, he was transferred to the custody of the State of Hawai’i Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division who will take him to the Hawai‘i Youth Correctional Facility on Oahu, according to police.

“Police would like to thank the community for their patience as this case was investigated. Police take threats of violence extremely seriously, especially those involving the use or threatened use of a firearm or other weapon,” read the release. “The protection of life is paramount.”

The Area I Juvenile Aid Section is continuing this investigation. Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Jenny Lee at (808) 961-2279 or Jenny.Lee@hawaiicounty.gov.

To make an anonymous tip, please call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 Tipsters may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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Previous Coverage

Three Hawaii Island schools are no longer in lockdown after a “school threat” was received, according to an alert from the Hawaii Police Department.

At 10:54 a.m., the Hawaii Police Department put out a notice informing the public that “the school threat at Keaau High School has been resolved, and all schools have lifted their lockdown. Officers are still present in the area.”

That alert came after a notice came in at 10:10 a.m. from police.

“The Hawaii Police Department advises you that due to a current school threat at are currently in a lockdown,” read the notice. “Officers are present in the area, please use caution and avoid the area.”

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