July 1, 2008, Honolulu, HI – A Schofield Barracks soldier led Honolulu Police on an 18 hour standoff. The standoff began at 4:30 p.m. Monday. The soldier had barricaded himself in his home with guns. Officers moved in and negotiators worked thru the night until it ended peacefully at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Several neighbors in the complex were forced out for safety reasons as police blocked off a section of Anonui Street at the Villas at Royal Kunia apartment complex in Waipahu.
The Red Cross said 15 adults did spend the night in a shelter.
His estranged wife says she believes his actions are the result of emotional problems after his combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A friend of the soldier called police warning them the man was suicidal and that he had two handguns. Police arrived and the standoff began. No one was inside the apartment with him. His wife believes he was drunk when the standoff began.
More than 18 hours later the 23 year old soldier calmly walked out of his apartment. He was tired, shirtless and carrying a cell phone. That’s when some of the 60 officers took him into custody. His wife was on the cell phone with him at the time and helped convince him to give up.
“I feared he would kill himself or hurt someone else that was trying to help him,” said the soldier’s wife who spoke with us from Texas on the condition we would not release her or her husband’s name. “He has a lot of issues that have not been addressed until really recently and I think my leaving and his son’s leaving and everything piling up at once he just felt overwhelmed and had a freak out to say the least.”
His wife said he has post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD and has become depressed and turned to alcohol. While in Iraq two of his close friends were killed right in front of him.
“Him seeing that he tries to act like it doesn’t bother him but obviously seeing someone you are close to, you’re trained to not let it affect you, but everyone is human and it does affect them,” said his wife.
She said in March he got a DUI. Then June 13, she said he got violent, breaking the television and refusing to let her leave during an argument.
“He lunged at me in the car to get my cell phone from me while I was driving with my son in the car which was very frightening so I let my phone go. I called the police when I got back and explained that he has a handgun and it’s not registered in this state could you please take it and for some reason I do not know why they didn’t,” she said.
That night she and her son were on a plane back to Texas. She plans to proceed with the divorce and hopes her husband gets the help he needs. She is thankful none of the neighbors or police officers were hurt.
The soldier did cut both his wrists and was taken to Tripler Medical Center for evaluation.
Police said its unknown if he’ll be charged with any crime since they said he did not break any laws.
A Schofield Barracks officer said they will work with him to get the help he needs.