(AP) — Police have charged a man they say is seen on video shoving another man and firing a gun in a mandatory evacuation zone near the erupting Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Authorities said 61-year-old John Hubbard of Leilani Estates has been charged with reckless endangering, terroristic threatening, robbery and other counts involving failure to obtain and register a firearm.

No injuries resulted from the gunfire, but the victim, whose name was withheld by police, reported minor injuries from the scuffle.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, crews make visual observations of lava activity at fissure 8, Thursday, May 31, 2018 near Pahoa, Hawaii. Fountain heights Thursday morning continued to reach 230 to 260 feet (70 to 80 meters) above ground level. The fountaining feeds a lava flow that is moving to the northeast along Highway 132 into the area of Noni Farms road. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
Crews make visual observations of lava activity at fissure No. 8 on Thursday. AP

Police say Hubbard was arrested Wednesday without incident. He remained in police custody in lieu of $222,000 bail and was slated to appear in court later Thursday.

It was unclear if he has an attorney.

“Stress is high, anxiety is high,” Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters Wednesday. “They’ve got this live volcano in their backyard.”

Residents “see strange people in their subdivision,” Magno said. “Basically, they try to protect stuff. It’s a hard time for the folks that are still in there.”

Police responded Tuesday to a report of gunshots in Leilani Estates and were told by the victim that he and acquaintances were approached by a man in a pickup truck as they surveyed the site where his residence had been burned down by lava, county officials said.

A video posted on Facebook and authenticated by police shows the back of a white-haired man with a handgun approaching another man followed by what appears to be a brief profanity-filled argument.

The man without the gun yells to the other man that he would be arrested and screams, “Are you kidding me?” as shots are fired. He ducked as the man with the gun advanced toward him.

Police have made other arrests in recent weeks within evacuation zones for property crimes such as burglary and for flying a drone.

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began spewing lava on May 3, forcing thousands of residents in the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens neighborhoods in the Puna district to evacuate. Homes have been completely covered by lava and roads have been severed.

Thoughts on this or any other story? Write a Letter to the Editor. Send to news@civilbeat.org and put Letter in the subject line. 200 words max. You need to use your name and city and include a contact phone for verification purposes. And you can still comment on stories on our Facebook page.

About the Author