Police seek 2 men in Waikiki shooting

Jan. 8—Honolulu police on Saturday were looking for two unidentified men involved in the Friday night shooting of a 25-year-old man in Waikiki, which has witnessed a number of violent crimes in recent weeks.

Honolulu police on Saturday were looking for two unidentified men involved in the Friday night shooting of a 25-year-old man in Waikiki, which has witnessed a number of violent crimes in recent weeks.

Few details on the shooting were released Saturday by the Honolulu Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division, except that it occurred at about 10 :15 p.m. at Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street, one of the busiest sections of the tourism mecca and the scene of a fatal shooting in March and several violent assaults.

The city's Emergency Medical Services Department reported that paramedics treated Friday night's victim for multiple gunshot wounds and transported him in critical condition to a hospital.

Jessica Lani Rich, president and CEO of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, said she checked with HPD's Waikiki substation and learned the victim was not a visitor.

The time of the shooting and its location on Waikiki's main thoroughfare could have easily resulted in other casualties.

"For this to have occurred at 10 :15 p.m. on a Friday night where tourists walk around and children possibly ... they're endangering the lives of not only the victim but locals and tourists, " said Waikiki Neighborhood Board member Kathryn Henski.

"Waikiki is becoming an Old West town where anybody can carry a gun and shoot'em up, " she said. "We need cops on the ground, not in cars, between 9 :30 p.m. and 2 a.m. in specific areas which are known to be dangerous."

Henski said she and others had pushed for hotels to caution tourists not to go out at night past 10 and to walk in groups or stay in their hotels.

Waikiki Neighborhood Board Chairman Bob Finley said, "I hope the guy survived. I hope it wasn't gangs ... I hope the police find these people soon."

Given the age of the victim, Finley and other Waikiki residents said they were reminded of the fatal stabbing of 21-year-old Tony Taki that occurred at 2 :45 a.m. Dec. 6 at a bus stop fronting the Royal Kuhio hotel on Kuhio Avenue. The 18-year-old suspect in that case allegedly was a member of a rival group ; he was subsequently charged with second-degree murder.

Less than two weeks ago, at 6 :15 a.m. Dec. 27, a 17-year-old boy robbed a group of hotel workers at Paokalani Avenue and Lemon Road. Police said he fired one round from a handgun into the ground and took a gold chain from one of the victims.

The teen was apprehended and charged with first-degree robbery along with terroristic threatening for threatening a custodian who confronted him and his friends for urinating earlier that same morning in an elevator at a building on Kapahulu Avenue.

John Deutzman, who lives a block from the scene of the Dec. 27 robbery, said he was disturbed by the incident and other criminal activity in the area.

"That bothers me because we have innocent people who could have gotten killed, " he said. "What's going on in Waikiki is unacceptable and it's disgraceful."

On Dec. 9, police fatally shot a 48-year-old man who barricaded himself for several hours alone in a room at the Ohia Waikiki Studio Suites. HPD officials said police officers fired at the man in the hallway when he lowered his gun toward them.

On March 19, Marqus McNeil, 20, was fatally shot on a sidewalk near Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street during an argument with a 19-year-old man whom he knew. The gunman was charged with second-degree murder.

Despite public alarm over the recent violence, HPD leaders told the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association's annual Visitor Public Safety Summit in November that crime in Waikiki was down in every category but theft.

Finley and Rich said they are hopeful the city's multi ­agency "Safe and Sound Waikiki " crime-reduction program launched in September will be successful. The number of arrests in the area have doubled, Finley said, with 360 arrests in misdemeanor cases in December alone.