Tasers used on man who fired an assault rifle

Police used Tasers to subdue and arrest a 37-year-old man Friday night for allegedly firing an AK-47 assault rifle into the air in a Waikapu neighborhood.

“It never sound like no firecrackers,” said resident Richard Andrion on Saturday. “It sounded like it was right outside of my house.”

Witnesses heard gunshots and saw sparks and muzzle fire coming from the weapon held by Waikapu resident Christopher Hook, said Maui Police Department officer Karen Wong, the department’s acting spokeswoman.

Around 10 p.m. Friday, police received calls from residents about the gunfire, and officers were dispatched to the scene, she said.

Hook was found behaving “really erratic,” holding a 6-inch metal buck knife, although he was no longer in possession of the firearm.

Hook yelled obscenities at officers and resisted arrest, Wong said. Then, officers used stun guns to subdue Hook, pushing him face-first to the ground as they took him into custody.

Hook sustained injuries to his face during the struggle, and Taser probes left injuries to his body, Wong said.

A booking photo of Hook had not been taken as of late Saturday afternoon because he continued to be violent and uncooperative, she said.

On Saturday, Wilikona Place resident Jonica Enderson gave another account of the officers’ arrest of Hook.

After Hook was shocked with a Taser, he fell to the ground and appeared to be motionless, she said. Officers continued to yell at Hook to stop resisting arrest, Enderson said, and shocked him multiple times with Tasers. An officer hit Hook over the head with a flashlight, she said.

“There was a pool of blood, about the size of a basketball,” she said, pointing to a location at the intersection of Wilikona and Keilio places. Police report logs put the incident location farther mauka, near the intersection of Wilikona and Kemoa places.

An ambulance arrived about 30 to 45 minutes later, Enderson said.

When asked later for comment on Enderson’s account, Wong said that police were continuing to investigate the incident.

Andrion, who said it was exactly 10 p.m. when he heard the shots, was going to check outside to see what was going on, but his wife stopped him.

Another resident living nearby, Lynn Okazaki, said that she did not hear anything, but her friend’s daughter, Keala Gomes, heard about three gunshots. Other residents reported hearing gunshots but said they did not go outside to investigate.

Enderson said she had lived near the Ukumehame Firing Range and instantly knew the loud sound came from gunfire, not firecrackers.

“I heard gunshots and was like, ‘Whoa, those are real,’ ” she recalled Saturday afternoon.

Enderson said that she cautiously walked down the street to see what was happening and saw residents trying to get Hook to go home.

A witness told police that the AK-47 was in Hook’s Ford pickup truck, and police could see it through a window, Wong said. While getting a search warrant, police impounded the vehicle and had it towed to the Wailuku Police Station.

Through investigation, police determined that the AK-47 was the weapon that had been fired earlier, Wong said. Police found spent ammunition casings on the ground.

There was no immediate report from police on the number of shots fired or whether the weapon discharged single shots or bursts of fire.

Police didn’t know what triggered the man’s shooting spree, Wong said.

Hook’s license plate identified him as being a combat veteran, she said. When police took Hook into custody, he was wearing a military utility belt with knife sheaves and a green water canteen.

Hook remained in custody Saturday evening at the Wailuku Police Station. He was charged with first-degree reckless endangering, first-degree resisting arrest and four counts of first-degree terroristic threatening. Bail was set at $5,200.

* Brian Perry can be reached at bperry@mauinews.com. Chris Sugidono can be reached at csugidono@mauinews.com.