The robbers hit the American Savings bank just before 10:30 in the morning.
Customers who were in the bank at the time say it was frightening to see two armed men with their faces hidden by masks and hoods charge into the bank.
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"One was armed with a rifle and one was armed with a pistol. The suspect with the rifle stood watch at the door. The suspect armed with a pistol approached several tellers and made demands for money, "
said Honolulu Police Maj. Lester Hite.
The men fled the bank and ran toward the back of the strip mall scaling this hillside and disappearing into the neighborhood.
"There were some witnesses, employees working in the back. They pointed us in the direction. Responding patrol officers followed that lead, did a search in the back and swat teams are supporting that search effort," said Hite.
Amidst barking dogs and startled neighbors, the SWAT teams went house-to-house. They started on Kahilolu Way and made their way toward Salt Lake Boulevard.
Police said the suspects who were in their 20s, made off with an undisclosed amount cash in a backpack.
Chun Yung happened to be home alone when police showed up on his door step asking questions.
"Where you scared? Oh, yeah! Scared, scared! They checked everything. ID.They checked the bag,"
Across the street, worried parents gathered in the parking lot outside of Aliamanu Elementary hoping to be able to pick up their children early.
Parents were upset they did not receive any alerts from the school.
"The only thing we saw was on Facebook and our own specialist from our ship posted it," said NIchole Bogart.
"There are still two gunman out there. I don't know if my little girl is freaking out because she is trapped in her classroom when other days the windows and doors would be open. There is no security here at this school on this campus, so anyone could walk in and walk out,"said Nelly Willis.
There were police at St Philomena's Early Learning Center.
Staff said about a dozen classes of preschoolers went without lunch when then couldn't make it to the cafeteria.
"Cannot. They stopped. It is too crazy, too dangerous to go out. So that's why we stopped," said maintenance worker Modesto Lagra.
The toddlers managed to survive the day with juice and snacks on hand.
After police failed to find any trace of the gunmen, they finally cleared the shopping center four hours after the holdup.
Nearby residents are being asked to check their security cameras in hopes of getting better pictures of the suspects.
Anyone with information is being asked to call Crimestoppers.