Sources: murder suspect in HPD custody few hours before shooting

Aunty Tee
Aunty Tee
Ciera Silao
Ciera Silao

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A suspect in a deadly shooting in Chinatown over the weekend is in custody. Sources say federal authorities are holding him on a warrant, and plan to turn him over to Honolulu police for the homicide investigation when they're done.

Sources say investigators believe at least one of the two gunmen was in HPD custody a few hours before the murder. They say the 21-year-old man was charged with drug offenses, but was released at 1:15 am Saturday after posting bail.

At 4:15 am, three hours later, gunfire erupted in Chinatown.

Donning a blue rag, often associated with the Crips street gang, a man offers a drink to his murdered friend.

"Soldier," he called out as he poured beer on the sidewalk.

At the corner of North Pauahi Street and River Street, a makeshift memorial for Joseph Peneueta, 35, continues to grow.

On Saturday, investigators say two men armed with rifles confronted Peneueta and shot him multiple times in the back as he tried to flee.

"That's really cold-hearted," Aunty Tee, victim's friend, said. "But we don't really know, you know, what the incident is really about."

Sources say at least one of the suspects was in police custody on unrelated charges, but bailed out three hours before the slaying. They say investigators believe the gunmen are members of a San Francisco-based gang.

"He was not the type to harass anybody," Tee said. "You know, he was more like a peace maker that we all admired about him."

With a heavy heart, Ciera Silao visits the memorial, which now includes messages, balloons, beer and several blue rags.

"I know him. He's, he's my Uncle Joe," Silao, the victim's hanai niece, said. "He used to change my diapers. He used to babysit me, him and my aunty."

Nearby, yellow evidence markers and a bullet hole in a glass door remain.

"I saw him earlier that day so I don't know, I didn't know how to react," Silao said. "It's kind of very random, like out of nowhere. I don't think he was supposed to die like that."

Again, officers located one of the suspects in Pearl City late Monday afternoon. If you have any information about this case, call Honolulu police.