Police arrest man after armed standoff in Puna


A 35-year-old Mountain View man was taken into custody Thursday after an hourslong armed standoff in the Aloha Estates subdivision.

Police say Joseph Diego Soares, who was wanted on two warrants, was spotted in the Kopua Farm Lots subdivision when they saw him in a vehicle on the road.


According to police, Soares was known to be armed and dangerous and officers had recently learned that he was displaying suicidal behavior. As the officers attempted to initiate contact with Soares, he immediately fled. Pursuing officers were able to maintain visual contact of Soares vehicle as he drove towards Eden Roc subdivision and then into Fern Forrest, when the vehicle appeared to have mechanical issues.

During this time, officers also saw Soares reach his arm out of the vehicle and fire a pistol, police said. The vehicle subsequently crossed Highway 11 and broke down in the area of Highway 11 and Mauna Loa Road, at the entry to Aloha Estates.

At that point Soares got out of the vehicle, placed a pistol up against his head, and began running up Mauna Loa Road. Officers pursued Soares on foot in attempts to ensure his safety, as well as the safety of the residents in the area.

Due to the nature of the rapidly evolving series of events, the department’s SWAT unit and crisis negotiators were called in.

Officers continued pursuing Soares on foot, up Mauna Loa Road for over a mile to the area of Wainani Street, as he continued to disregard officers verbal commands and kept the pistol pressed against his head. Upon arrival of SWAT, negotiators verbally engaged with Soares in attempts to peacefully resolve the situation.

Shortly before 6 p.m., Soares was taken into custody, and the loaded pistol in his possession was safely recovered. He was arrested for his two outstanding warrants, plus reckless endangering and various firearms offenses.

Out of an abundance of caution, several residents in the Aloha Estates Subdivision were evacuated until police were able to render the area safe.

There were no reported injuries.

Detectives are continuing to investigate and search warrants are being drafted for the vehicle Soares was operating, as well as a bag he was carrying.

Anyone with information relative too this case is asked to call the police nonemergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

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