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Bail kept for man who fired shots near school

WAILUKU — A Molokai man was arrested last week after police found him with an assault rifle, following reports of gunshots heard at nearby Kilohana Elementary School, police reported.

Kaaikiola Kapuni-Szasz, 39, of Kaunakakai was charged with manufacturing, purchasing or obtaining firearm parts to assemble a firearm having no serial number, 13 counts of second-degree reckless endangering, not having a permit to acquire a firearm, failing to register a firearm, acquiring a firearm without registration and unlawful possession of a firearm.

During his initial appearance Monday in Molokai District Court, convening in Wailuku, Deputy Prosecutor Brant Yoshimoto asked for bail to remain at $1,500 for Kapuni-Szasz.

Numerous staff members at Kilohana Elementary reported hearing double-digit gunshots in the late morning Thursday and the school went into lockdown, Yoshimoto said.

He said police reported finding Kapuni-Szasz with an AR-15 assault rifle and reported finding 13 spent shells nearby. Kapuni-Szasz reportedly told police he had fired only six shots.

Police said shots were fired 300 yards from the school — “that’s well within the effective range of the caliber of the rifle that was found,” Yoshimoto said.

He said Kapuni-Szasz’s family has land in the residential area across the street from the school.

“The state believes that the defendant is a danger to the community,” Yoshimoto said.

He said Kapuni-Szasz has 11 prior convictions, including first-degree criminal trespassing, fourth-degree criminal property damage and four counts of violating a temporary restraining order.

Kapuni-Szasz asked to be released on supervision. Deputy Public Defender Andres Tobar said the defendant was supposed to have started a job Monday.

When Judge Chris Dunn asked if there was any reason to believe Kapuni-Szasz was targeting the school or principal, Yoshimoto said there was no indication of that in the police report.

Dunn kept bail at $1,500 for Kapuni-Szasz.

He was ordered to stay away from Kilohana Elementary School grounds and to have no contact with the school principal.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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