By JOHN BURNETT
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Police have a 49-year-old Hawaiian Beaches woman in custody following a report that she brandished a gun and pointed it toward Keonepoko Elementary School.
Lokelani Lenore Harbrecht-Kalua, who lives by the Kahakai Boulevard school, was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening. She had not been charged as of press time.
“Officers contacted her outside her residence and she was immediately taken into custody without incident,” said Lt. Greg Esteban of the Hilo Criminal Investigations Section on Thursday afternoon. Esteban said that no firearm was recovered at the time of the arrest but a search warrant was being executed on the home.
“The investigation is continuing,” he said.
Keonepoko Principal Kathleen Romero said the original report to police was a stranger on campus, but that turned out not to be the case, and a second call was made to 911 after school officials got more information. The incident was reported to police at 7:18 a.m. and the school immediately went on lockdown as a precaution, Romero said.
“It’s probably the busiest time of our day because the buses are coming, the parents are coming to drop their kids off,” she said.
Romero said the lockdown went smoothly.
“Our teachers, our educational assistants, everybody who wasn’t tied down were involved,” she said. “Teachers pulled kids into their classrooms and closed and locked the doors. We brought most of (the students) into the cafeteria.
“We knew where the problem was, and that was very helpful.”
She said that parents were given the option of leaving their children in school or letting them go home with an excused absence.
“We didn’t let any cars out of the parking lot until police told us it was safe,” she said. “… The police secured the outside area because the actual problem was not on our campus.”
Romero said the lockdown lasted about 45 minutes and staff and students were able to settle back into normal instructional mode shortly after 8 a.m.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.