Mohawk Man Arrested After Causing Lockdowns at Hawaiian Army Bases

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
September 29, 2023US News
Mohawk Man Arrested After Causing Lockdowns at Hawaiian Army Bases
File photo of a police car in Honolulu. (Ronen Zilberman/AFP via Getty Images)

A man with a Mohawk haircut was arrested in Hawaii after causing two army bases to lock down following his producing a handgun when he got “into a scuffle,” officials say.

The disruption took place Thursday at the Schofield Barracks in Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Although no shots were fired, the incident was treated as an “active shooter situation,” Michael Donnelly, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Garrison in Hawaii, told the Associated Press.

The man was “trying to allegedly talk with soldiers,” Mr. Donnelly told the AP. “I don’t know if he was bartering or selling stuff, but someone confronted him, and they got into a scuffle. There was a handgun witnessed, visible.”

The army camp was put under lockdown, as was neighboring Wheeler Army Airfield.

Two public schools on the Schofield site were also briefly locked down: Daniel K. Inouye Elementary and Solomon Elementary, as the incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., when children were leaving for the day. Staff, students and parents were secured indoors, as police took up stations and secured the area.

Citing a spokeswoman for the Maui Police Department, The New York Times reported Friday morning that the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Paul Smith, was taken into custody “without incident” Thursday night on the neighboring island of Molokai after a joint search by the U.S. Army and the Honolulu Police Department.

In a Facebook post, the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii described the suspect as a 5-foot-10-inch tall light-skinned young man, with a “Mohawk type haircut with button down collared aloha shirt, light blue jeans, tan Nike foam shoes with red swoosh and multicam cross body bag.”

The lockdowns at the bases were lifted in the evening.

“We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding this afternoon,” the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii said on Facebook.

“The safety and security of our Soldiers, Family Members and Employees is always our first priority. As an investigation is ongoing, we also appreciate the close coordination and full support of the Honolulu Police Department.”

Schofield Barracks is about 20 miles north of Honolulu. It hosts the 25th Infantry Division and the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

Wheeler Army Airfield, just next door, is home to the Hawaii Air National Guard and the headquarters for the U.S. Army Garrison on Hawaii.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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