Hole found in Mauna Kea observatory door was not caused by shooting

Local News
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the findings, released by Subaru Telescope and Hawaii Island police, which confirm the hole was not caused by a shooting.

Hawaii Island police and officials with Subaru Telescope, one of 12 telescopes either at or around the summit of Mauna Kea, confirmed Monday that a hole in the door of the observatory was not created by a bullet.

Police were notified of a possible shooting after a round hole was discovered Saturday evening, June 6, on one of the side doors of the building. No one was hurt.

They said at the time that the damage occurred sometime between Friday night and Saturday night.

Nobuo Arimoto, Subaru Telescope director, issued the following update Monday:

The detailed inspection on June 7 at the start of the night shift and 8 in the morning found and confirmed a match between this hole and an intake manifold cover on the wall. The day crews knew the presence of the hole at the time of the severe winter storm earlier this year. The wraparound effect of the wind could be very severe at times, which can swing the heavy metal door to create this kind of dent on the door.

We at Subaru Telescope are relieved that this is the case and regret the confusion caused by earlier reports. The police have also been notified of the discovery.

The Subaru Telescope is owned by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

Later Monday, police said a detective investigated the scene and determined the hole was caused by a bolt from an adjacent wall and that it had been there for approximately six months.

The case that had been initiated for this incident will be closed as unfounded, police said.

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