Shooting on busy Waikiki thoroughfare prompts calls for greater law enforcement presence
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A shooting on a busy Waikiki street that left a man critically injured has residents calling for more patrol officers in the state’s no. 1 tourist destination.
The shooting happened around 10 p.m. Friday near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street.
Police sources said the two suspects allegedly fired more than 20 shots and fled in a vehicle.
HPD is looking for two armed suspects, but the agency hasn’t said anything else about the shooting.
Hawaii News Now reached out to HPD for updates but has yet to hear back.
Witness Demi Elise said the gunshots sounded like fireworks.
“It didn’t sound like a normal gunshot, sounded like an automatic,” said Elise.
Waikiki Neighborhood Board Member Jeff Merz said the situation in the area has gotten out of hand.
“I refuse to accept this as the new norm,” Merz said. “When I hear about these things, it’s always surprising. We can’t let this become the new norm.”
It hasn’t even been a year since 20-year-old Marqus McNeil was gunned down near the same intersection.
A month before that shooting, fast-moving flames engulfed the back side of Moose McGillycuddy’s on Lewers Street. Some believe squatters set the shuttered pub on fire.
Merz said homelessness and crime are only getting worse in Waikiki.
“It’s just not a good area to be late at night,” said Merz. “For the full range of reasons of what bars staying up late and drinking and fighting causes.”
Former chairman of the Hawaii Bar Owners Association Bill Comeford said bars aren’t to blame.
He said it’s due to a lack of enforcement on the streets.
“They have to have a control just like we control the interior of our bars,” said Comerford. “They have to control the streets at the same time at night.”
“Are they doing it? No they’re not.”
Both Merz and Comerford agree that there needs to be more foot patrol officers around Waikiki.
“They need to have a presence,” said Merz. “I see more Waikiki Improvement Association cleanup crew in the green shirts than I do police officers walking the beat in Waikiki.”
“I used to walk the streets all the time, no fears,” add Comerford. “I wouldn’t do it these days. That’s very sad.”
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