HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — Hawai’i Island police said they arrested 35-year-old Joseph Diego Soares after an hours-long armed standoff with police.

At 1:30 p.m., police said that officers were conducting a warrant sweep in the Puna district. They were in the Kopua Farm Lots area when they said they observed a vehicle known to be driven by Soares.

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Soares is known by police to have two outstanding warrants and is known to be armed and dangerous. Police were informed that Soares was experiencing suicidal thoughts.

In an attempt to initiate contact with Soares, police said he fled the area.

Officers continued to try to contact him, maintaining visual contact with his vehicle as it drove toward the Eden Roc Subdivision.

It then moved into Fern Forrest when police said the vehicle seemed to begin experiencing mechanical issues.

It was at this point that police said Soares reached his arm out of the vehicle and fired a pistol.

Police said that Soares then moved the vehicle to cross Highway 11; it was at this point that the vehicle became fully disabled in the area of Highway 11 and Mauna Loa Road, at the bottom of the Aloha Estates Subdivision.

Soares then exited the vehicle, held the pistol to his own head and began to run up Mauna Loa Road.

Police said they pursued Soares on foot in an attempt to ensure his safety and the safety of residents in the neighborhood.

Police said that “due to the nature of the rapidly evolving series of events, the department’s Special Response Team and Crisis Negotiators responded to assist in apprehending Soares.”

As the standoff continued, police said they continued to follow Soares on foot. They went up Mauna Loa Road for over a mile to the area of Wainani Street.

Throughout this time, he continued to disregard the officer’s verbal commands, keeping the pistol pressed against his head.

“Upon arrival of the Special Response Crisis Negotiation Team, negotiators verbally engaged with Soares in attempts to peacefully resolve the situation,” according to police.

It was shortly before 6 p.m., according to police, that Soares was finally taken into custody.

His loaded pistol was recovered safely by police.

Soares was arrested for two outstanding Circuit Court warrants, reckless endangering and various firearms offenses.   

According to police, they evacuated some residents of the Aloha Estates Subdivision for their safety during the situation.

Area I Criminal Investigation Section personnel are in the process of investigating the situation.

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Police are asking anyone with information that relates to this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Paul Mangus at (808) 961-2383 or paul.mangus@hawaiicounty.gov.