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Volcano evacuation shooting victim feared for his life

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HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A Hawaii man has testified that he feared for his life when a neighbor pointed a gun at him last month and fired at least two shots into the air in a mandatory evacuation zone near the erupting Kilauea volcano.

Ethan Edwards testified in a Hilo courtroom last week in the preliminary hearing for John Hubbard, who was arrested on reckless endangering, terroristic threatening and other charges in state court, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported .

U.S. prosecutors also have charged Hubbard with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A cellphone video captured the encounter in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, where lava has been flowing.

“I couldn’t actually believe what was happening,” Edwards said.

Lauren Kaech, who was one of the people with Edwards during the May 29 incident, also testified during Hubbard’s hearing.

“I feared for my life. He had the gun pointed at me. I was terrified,” Kaech testified.

Edwards told the court that Hubbard was “really angry” and “super aggressive” during the encounter.

The hearing, which is scheduled to conclude June 29, is to determine if there is probable cause to try Hubbard for first-degree robbery, reckless endangering, use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, illegally carrying a handgun, having no permit to acquire a firearm and no firearm registration, two counts of reckless endangering and five counts of first-degree terroristic threatening.

Hubbard remains in jail in lieu of a $197,000 bail.

State Public Defender Jack Tonaki, whose office is representing Hubbard, declined to comment Tuesday.

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This version of the story includes the defendant’s first name. A previous version only included his last name.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/



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