Hawaii official who sent false missile alert says he was ‘100 percent’ sure it was real

Hawaii official who sent false missile alert says he was ‘100 percent’ sure it was real
© Twitter

The former Hawaii emergency management employee who dispatched a false alert last month warning of an incoming ballistic missile said that he was "100 percent sure" that he had done the right thing at the time.

"I'm very remorseful about the incident," the former employee told NBC News on Friday, speaking on a condition of anonymity due to reported death threats. "It's been tough. I was 100 percent sure that it was the right decision and that it was real."

The false alert sparked panic across Hawaii on Jan. 13, as worried and confused residents scrambled to seek shelter from what they were led to believe was an imminent ballistic missile strike.

ADVERTISEMENT

But a preliminary report on the incident by the Federal Communications Commission issued on Tuesday revealed that the employee had mistaken a drill for the real thing, prompting him to issue the alert.

State officials in Hawaii said that the employee had a history of confusing exercises for real events, and had been fired as a result of the false alert.

Vern Miyagi, the administrator of Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency, resigned following the incident.

The former employee, however, disputed the findings of an internal investigation in the interview with NBC News, and said that the U.S. military — rather than Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency — should be responsible for issuing such warnings.

"We weren’t prepared to send out missile notifications," the employee said. "I think the military should do that."