UPDATE: Police arrested the suspect on Molokai Thursday night, after he triggered a lockdown at Schofield Barracks and fled.

A man believed to have a firearm who prompted a lockdown at Schofield Barracks was arrested Thursday night on Molokai, Maui Police Department spokesperson Alana Pico said.

Police took 27-year-old Paul Smith into custody without incident around 8:06 Thursday night, Pico said.

Authorities are investigating Smith, whether he was connected to the military or the installation, and how he got onto the base, Col. Steve McGunegle, commander of the Army Garrison Hawaii, said at a press conference earlier Thursday.

The shelter-in-place order was lifted after law enforcement officials searched and cleared facilities and determined “there is no longer an assessed threat on the installation,” the Army Garrison said on its Facebook page. But Smith remained at large earlier Thursday evening, with law enforcement investigating both on and off base, McGunegle said.

The Department of Education also said the “lockdowns at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary and Solomon Elementary on Schofield Barracks have been lifted by law enforcement.” Military police were at the site to help with the release of the students and provide any aid to them and their parents, the DOE said.

Earlier in the day, the Army imposed a lockdown on the military installation as officials searched for the man, described as 5-foot, 10-inches tall, light-skinned and between 25 and 35 years old. He was seen with a “mohawk-type haircut,” wearing an aloha shirt, light blue jeans and tan Nike foam shoes, the garrison said on its Facebook page.

By 3:20 p.m., the man was reported near the base’s PX/Commissary area, according to the Army.

No shots were fired, Donnelly said.

Schofield Barracks Foote Gate.
The armed man has led Schofield Barracks to put its people and buildings under lockdown. (Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021)

Earlier in the day, a soldier approached the man, who appeared suspicious, and then brandished what looked like a handgun before assaulting the soldier with it, without firing shots, McGunegle said.

The man had been talking to soldiers, possibly trying to barter or sell goods, when the soldier confronted him and the two got into a scuffle at about 2:30 p.m., Donnelly said.

The Army identified the suspect as Paul Smith. (Courtesy: Army)

All people and buildings were on lockdown as the Honolulu Police Department assisted base patrol officers and the incident command center, he said.

Jasmine Diltz, a Schofield Barracks resident, expressed concern about her 9-year-old son, who was locked down in the Solomon Elementary School.

“I’m freaking out. I’m nervous. I’m trying to keep calm because my two little kids are here,” Diltz said from her home, where she had locked all the doors.

Students were allowed to leave after the shelter-in-place order was lifted.

The garrison’s objective was to increase patrols to comfort the community and return to “a more normal state of operations,” McGunegle said Thursday evening.

Support Civil Beat during the season of giving.

As a small nonprofit newsroom, our mission is powered by readers like you. But did you know that less than 1% of readers donate to Civil Beat?

Give today and support local journalism that helps to inform, empower and connect.

About the Author