How the suspect managed to fly from Oahu to Molokai remains unclear.

The man arrested after triggering a lockdown on Schofield Barracks before fleeing to Molokai was a soldier “transitioning from active duty” but not assigned to a unit in Hawaii, an Army spokesman said Friday.

It’s unclear how the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Paul Smith, made his way from Oahu to Molokai amid a manhunt. But he reportedly arrived there about 6 to 6:30 p.m. on a small private plane from Dillingham Airfield, which is north of the base.

That was a few hours after the suspect was reportedly seen assaulting another soldier on Schofield Barracks. Fearing an active shooter situation, the military ordered people on base to shelter-in-place, including children in schools.

Molokai Airport.
Police arrested Paul Smith after he arrived on Molokai. (Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019)

That order was lifted after nearly two hours, with officials saying they had ruled out an immediate threat. However, the search for the suspect continued both on and off base.

Officers with the Maui Police Department arrested Smith at the Molokai Airport around 8 p.m. Thursday, MPD spokesperson Alana Pico said.

Antone Kalilikane, the Molokai Airport manager, said the man flew to the island from Dillingham Airfield in a small private plane, arriving around 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The airport was on alert after receiving a call from the FBI, and only one private plane arrived around that time, he added.

Just one airplane appeared to leave Oahu’s North Shore and arrive on Molokai in that timeframe, according to Flightradar24, a plane tracking website. Its registration number shows it was a Beech 19A fixed-wing, single-engine plane registered to a small aviation company based in Waialua, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database.

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