Californian couple’s vacation in Hawaii turned into a nightmare when a masked gunman carjacked and hunted them on a volcano.

Driving a rented Ford Mustang, they encountered a road closure sign but proceeded, assured by locals it was safe. Soon, a truck approached from behind, prompting them to pull over. The truck then aggressively cut them off.

The driver, masked and armed, ordered them to leave their valuables and keys and walk away. As they obeyed, they realized he was pursuing them. They sprinted up the volcano, hearing the man’s threats and a gunshot.

Suspect Freed Early, Terrorizes Tourists on Hawaiian Volcano
Alex and Justina Lucero, visiting Maui for work, were exploring Haleakalā on June 4 when they were forced to flee for their lives

From their hiding spot, they saw a taxi rendezvous with the gunman and another vehicle, whose driver searched for them with flashlights and a drone. Feeling hunted, the couple camped out on the volcano, drinking from a waterfall to stay hydrated.

The next morning, they spotted a park ranger who identified a suspect, later arrested as Christopher Helmer, connected to a previous kidnapping. Maui Police detained Helmer, who was found with a loaded firearm and the stolen Mustang. Further investigation linked him to the robbery and another stolen vehicle.

A grand jury indicted Helmer on multiple charges, including first-degree robbery and firearm offenses. His bail was set at $500,000.

“We almost didn’t make it home,” Justina told KHON2. “Our lives are forever changed.”