CORRECTION: A previous version of this story included a video that incorrectly identified the first name of the suspect. The video has been corrected.
HILO, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Hawai’i Island police department announced that 35-year-old Joseph Diego Soares has been charged.
Police said that his charges span an array of offenses following the hours long armed standoff with police on Thursday, March 30.
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On Friday, March 31, the police department conferred with County Prosecutors Office, Area I Criminal Investigation Section.
Detectives have charged Soares with the following offenses:
- Two counts first-degree reckless endangering.
- Two counts place to keep firearm.
- Two counts place to keep ammunition.
- Two counts carrying/possession loaded firearm on highway.
- Two counts ownership/possession prohibited (firearm).
- Three counts ownership/possession prohibited (ammunition).
- Two counts third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
Soares’s bail has been set at $269,000.
On Thursday after 1:30 p.m., police said that officers were conducting a warrant sweep in the Puna district. They said they were in the Kopua Farm Lots area when they observed a vehicle known to be driven by Soares.
According to police, Soares was known by police to have two outstanding warrants and was known to be armed and dangerous. Police also said they were informed that Soares was experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Police said Soares fled the area when they made an attempt to initiate contact with him.
Officers said they continued to try to contact him and that they maintained visual contact with his vehicle as it drove toward the Eden Roc Subdivision.
Once the vehicle moved into Fern Forrest, police said it seemed to begin experiencing mechanical issues.
It was at this point police said Soares reached his arm out of the vehicle and fired a pistol.
Police said that after Soares began moving his vehicle to cross Highway 11, it 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, according to police.
Police said they pursued Soares on foot in an attempt to ensure his safety and the safety of residents in the neighborhood.
As the standoff continued, police said they followed Soares on foot. They went up Mauna Loa Road for over a mile to the area of Wainani Street.
Throughout this time, police said he continued to disregard their verbal commands and kept the pistol pressed against his head.
The Special Response Crisis Negotiation Team verbally engaged with Soares in attempts to peacefully resolve the situation, said police.
It was shortly before 6 p.m., according to police, that Soares was finally taken into custody and that his pistol was recovered safely.
Soares was then arrested for his two outstanding Circuit Court warrants, reckless endangering and various firearms offenses.
Police said that they evacuated some residents of the Aloha Estates Subdivision for their safety during the situation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Soares remains in custody at the Hawai’i Community Correctional Center (HCCC) and is scheduled to appear in Hilo District Court on Monday afternoon, April 3.