Ewa neighborhood still in shock a day after shooting

Lara Fergueson
Lara Fergueson

By Leland Kim - bio | email

EWA (KHNL) - The residential Ewa Gentry neighborhood where a woman was gunned down in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon, was quiet a day after the shooting.  But the victim's family and neighbors are still in a state of shock over Royal Kaukani's murder.

Throughout the day, extended family and friends visited the Kaukani home to pay their respects.  The family was grieving privately for the time being and says their sister was the kindest, most giving person they knew.

The place where Royal Kaukani's life ended Tuesday has become a makeshift memorial for those who want to remember the 25-year-old woman.

"I'm just devastated because they're a wonderful family, very tight knit group of women. They're all sisters, they get together quite often. They're just very loving and it doesn't make sense," said Lara Fergueson, Kaukani's next door neighbor.

She says the murder shattered her neighborhood's innocence.

"This was a very loving, happy community," said Fergueson.  "It has a great feeling of safety for the kids and it's just not there anymore. It's just not there."

Neighbors and friends visited the home, privately expressing their condolences.

Some wonder if more could've been done to protect Kaukani from someone who had threatened her in the past.

"From what I understand, there are laws in the books that should be protecting women. I feel they need to be enforced," said Fergueson.  "There is no reason why this fellow should've been out of jail."

Kaukani's death changed Fergueson, a mother of two young children.

"I used to let them go out in the community and go to their friends houses by themselves and play out front," she said.  "I don't feel safe right now. I really don't feel safe. It's very sad to not be able to feel safe in your own community."

The Kaukani family released the following statement Wednesday night:

"For those who knew Royal ... You knew how special she was.  For those who didn't, I hope by the end of this statement, you will.

Royal was such a generous, considerate, and extremely loving person.

She was so full of life and always lived life to the fullest. she gave all she had every time she could, whether anyone asked or not.

Royal's radiant smile brightened anyone's day and she always walked so tall and proud. there was always such an amazing presence when she came around.

For some reason she thought she could save the world.  She believed every broken thing could be fixed somehow, some way.

Royal was an awesome volleyball player since the age of twelve and until the tragic day she remained true to the game.

She was the third youngest of seven beautiful sisters.  Yes, no boys.  All girls.  Life was a struggle growing up, but through all her life's trials and tribulations, she managed to make the most out of it.  She used her survival skills to her advantage.  She was a member of the L.E.O. Club, National Honor Society, and VICA.  She won two gold medals representing the state of Hawaii VICA Club and graduated cum laude with her Waianae High School Class of 2001.

Royal had a very bright future ahead of her, as she was the concierge supervisor at Ko Olina Beach Club.  Everyone she worked with enjoyed being around her and looked up to her for wisdom and guidance.

Not only did her coworkers look to her for wisdom and guidance, but so did her many nieces and nephews that wre so attached.  She always made time to be with them with her busy schedule, and she made sure she spoiled them in every way possible.

We would like to thank our family for all the loving support and all those that are sending prayers. We personally want to thank HPD for all the hard work that they have done for Royal, most especially the ones that were constantly in close contact to her.

She has touched everyone in our family's heart to an extent that cannot be replaced.  She will forever be missed and never forgotten."