Former Castle High football standout shot to death in Kaneohe - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Former Castle High football standout shot to death in Kaneohe

Joel Botelho Joel Botelho
Nelson Maeda Nelson Maeda
Noela Napoleon, on far right Noela Napoleon, on far right

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

KANEOHE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Castle High School football standout and father of three was shot and killed outside his parents' home in Kaneohe early Sunday morning.

Police arrested Makuola Collins, 26, on suspicion of second-degree murder. His family and the victim's family both live on Waikalua Road.

In 2001-2002, Joel Botelho was an all-star quarterback for Castle High and was considered by his coaches as one of the greatest football players to come out of that school.

"He had everything, exemplified everything that you would want to impart upon an athlete -- confident, hard worker, great leadership skills," Nelson Maeda, Castle High football coach, said.

But on Sunday, one day after celebrating his 27th birthday, Botelho was gunned down outside his parents' house on Waikalua Road in Kaneohe.

"I never believe it at first," Shalomar Silva, victim's friend, said. "I had a couple calls and I just said, 'No, you're lying. You're lying to me. No way, I just seen him.'"

Investigators believe the victim and his brother were followed to the home after an altercation with another group at a Kaneohe bar at about 3:15 AM.

Neighbors on Waikalua Road reported hearing three or four gunshots. Botelho took a bullet to the chest and was pronounced dead at Castle Medical Center.

"It's a tragedy that he's gone and for the reasons that led to it," Nihi Napoleon, victim's uncle, said.

"Anybody that knows Joel knows he wouldn't harm a fly," Noela Napoleon, victim's aunt, said through tears. "He was so loved by not only Kaneohe, but everyone who came in his path."

Botelho was a construction worker on the Big Island, and was on Oahu visiting his family for the holidays.

"Joel Botelho was larger than life," Noela Napoleon said. "Joel Botelho took care of everybody."

The victim leaves behind three sons. The eldest is seven years old.

His family says he was so much more than a one-time football standout.

"That's what he's known for, but all of his friends know him for his heart," Noela Napoleon said through tears. "He's a wonderful, beautiful human being."

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