Police respond to Keaau High after active shooter hoax call

JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Police vehicles with their blue lights on sit Wednesday morning at the entrance of Keaau High School. Police and firefighters responded to a report of an active shooter on campus, which turned out to be a hoax call.

Police and firefighters responded Wednesday morning to Keaau High School after a report to dispatchers claimed there was an active shooter on campus and multiple casualties.

The call, as it turned out, was a hoax.


“The initial call came in right around 10 o’clock,” said Capt. Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Division. “And the initial information that we got was that it actually was at Hilo High School. It’s close to the station, so Hilo Patrol responded and CID personnel started heading that way.”

Another call from dispatch told officers the alleged campus shooter was actually at Keaau High, so responders reversed their course.

“The response time was very quick. Thankfully, we had a fair amount of (police) personnel in Keaau at the time working on something else, so they were able to get away and head over there.”

Amon-Wilkins estimated that 30 to 40 officers responded to the Keaau campus, which was locked down by school administrators until the all-clear was given at about 11 a.m.

According to Amon-Wilkins, the response included the Special Response Team, the department’s SWAT unit.

“We absolutely took this 100% serious. The information that we received was very detailed in the beginning,” he said.

Amon-Wilkins said police also are investigating the call itself.

See more in Thursday’s edition.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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