UPDATE: Police Hoping Kahului Siege “Ends Today”
By David Kvasnicka
Update: Okudara surrendered to police at around 3 p.m. today, ending the 50+ hour siege.
As the siege between police and Josiah Okudara reaches its 48th hour, police have expressed hopes that it will end today and not drag on into the weekend.
However, police said that negotiations can continue for as long as Okudara is willing to talk and signs of a peaceful resolution were positive.
Police could not confirm the type of weapon that Okudara is armed with. It was speculated that he is armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, which would be capable of penetrating many types of body armor.
“Public safety is paramount,” said Lt. Wayne Ibarra of the Maui Police Department. “But we also have to consider the safety of our officers.”
In a twist to the ongoing drama, it was revealed at around 2 p.m. Thursday that a second man was in the residence with Okudara. The man surrendered to police, and was taken away in handcuffs. He is currently in police custody. It is unclear whether the man has been charged, with police saying that an investigation into his involvement is underway. Police can hold the man for 48 hours without charge.
Residents continue to report sounds of “shots” during the course of the siege, however police have said that there has been no gunfire except for those coming from the residence at 9.30 p.m. Wednesday. Police have employed gas grenades several times during the siege, which make a similar sound when they detonate. Police declined to comment on why the gas grenades failed to end the siege, but maintain that their use is a matter of strategy.
So far, three homes and around 15 residents from the area were evacuated to the Kahului Community Center, and later transferred to the Red Cross Shelter at 1 a.m. Thursday. Police say other residents opted to stay in their homes.
Lt. Ibarra expressed his gratitude to the Red Cross for their assistance and handling of evacuees.
“I just want to say thanks to the Red Cross for their help in all this. They’re a great organization.”
Residents report that police have been strict in keeping those who live in the area inside their homes, unless entering or leaving the neighborhood. Residents must show their ID at police roadblocks to access their homes. Water lines have been turned off in the area.
See our related stories for more details:
- “Shots” Heard at Kahului Barricade Situation (Frequent updates throughout the siege)
- VIDEO: Stand-Off With Police Enters 24th Hour (Thursday morning day time interview with Lt. Wayne Ibarra, MPD)
- VIDEO: Kahului Stand-Off Drags on Into Early Morning (Wednesday/Thursday, August 10 night/early morning coverage)