- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - It turns out that a hole in a door at a Mauna Kea telescope building wasn’t caused by a bullet.

Hawaii County police were investigating what appeared to be a bullet hole in a Subaru Telescope door.

But on Monday, the observatory said in a statement the hole was caused by strong wind swinging a metal door into an instrument fixture attached to a wall. “We at Subaru Telescope are relieved that this is the case and regret the confusion caused by earlier reports,” the statement said.

A detective investigated Monday and determined the hole from the bolt on the wall was there about six months, police said. The observatory’s statement says the day crews knew about the hole from a severe winter storm earlier this year. The observatory didn’t immediately explain why someone reported it to police Saturday night.

The heavy door swung into what’s called an intake manifold, which the observatory said in an email is a fixture to which a hose from a liquefied nitrogen tanker can be hooked up.

News of a possible shooting prompted Mauna Kea Hui, a group protesting the planned Thirty Meter Telescope on the mountain, to say they don’t believe in using firearms.

“I think what we all need to do is check ourselves and realize that we have to build trust with each other,” Kealoha Pisciotta, one of the group’s leaders, said after hearing it wasn’t a bullet hole. “Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we don’t have aloha for them.”

The observatory said in an email its suspicion of a bullet hole was based on its shape: “From the beginning, we did not name anybody or organization as the source of the damage.”


Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at https://www.twitter.com/JenHapa .



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