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That time would be yesterday afternoon. Let me set the scene… I’m sitting on my couch, watching the New York Rangers play the New Jersey Devils in preseason. My husband, who is at work downtown at Fort Shafter, calls around 2:30p and I answer. He sounds panicked when he asks me if I’d heard about the shelter-in-place order. Judging from my chipper tone when I answer, he’s assuming I haven’t. He is correct. I haven’t. Ensue immediate rush to make sure all doors are locked, all blinds are pulled, and all windows are locked.
So, yeah. Apparently, a guylater identified as Paul A. Smith approached some soldiers on post and acted shady. He tried to sell them weapons, tried to get them to his car. The 1SGFirst Sergeant, top noncommissioned officer in a company-level unit was notified and confronted Smith, asking for identification. Smith bolted, and the 1SG pursued him. Smith proceeded to pistol-whip the 1SG and beat feet out of the AOarea of operations.
At this point, post went on lockdown. The MPsMilitary Police, along with Honolulu PD and SWAT, searched post facility by facility. My 2nd eldest son works at the PXPost Exchange. Think Army Walmart, but smaller., and they had to clear the food court and the mini mall within the PX building, as well as the parking lot, and herd people into their customer service area, dropping the gate in place. Later, Smith was seen near the PX, and they came in armed and with dogs and searched it (which made me, with my kid inside, somewhat nuts), increasing the level of chaos that was going on in there. Around 5:00p, lockdown was lifted, saying the threat no longer existed, the suspect had been ID’d but was still unaccounted for.
Of course, this made lifting lockdown seem rather premature at the time. However… the powers that be clearly knew what they were doing, as we discovered pretty quickly. As it turned out, Smith beat feet to Dillingham Air Field, now known as Kawaihapai Airfield, in Waialua on the North Shore. It’s a small public/military use airfield, used for Army training and skydiving/gliders. Small runways, small planes. And it seems Smith had a plane on the tarmac, waiting to fly him to neighboring Moloka‘i, where cops awaited him.
I suspect the investigation is just beginning.