HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police have arrested a Kalihi man for second-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed a 59-year-old man to death at a homeless encampment in Mapunapuna.
24-year-old Herwin Magbulos was arrested on second degree murder charges early Sunday afternoon.
According to investigators, the incident happened at about 6 a.m. Sunday at the end of Kilihau Street, beneath Nimitz Highway.
Police said there was a confrontation between the victim and Herwin Magbulos beneath the highway, next to a bike path. Magbulos allegedly stabbed the older man several times. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Some of the homeless in the area said they were familiar with the victim, who had been living beneath the highway for about a month and-a-half.
"Wongie," said Brad Pareisa, a longtime homeless person. "We call him Wongie. From Chinatown. Very, very happy guy, actually, very jolly. He's kinda funny in fact. He's good to be around."
Pareisa and others in the area said they were not familiar at all with the suspect, with one saying he was first seen in the area just yesterday.
The area beneath Nimitz and the H-1 Freeway airport viaduct has been the scene of several other incidents, including a fire, in recent months. And those problems seem to be increasing with the rising number of people living there.
"It's a little bit more dangerous nowadays than way back when, when there was just a few people and they were just literally homeless," said Mel Sakuma, who works at a business nearby. "But there seems to be a lot more things happening under the bridge than the homeless."
Even the homeless said the situation is getting worse. "More and more young people being homeless today. That's what makes it dangerous," said Pareisa, who said he was attacked recently. "We got more new people in the neighborhood, the crime goes up."
The homeless have occasionally been swept out of the area, but they return.
"Short-term solution would be to fence it off. At least it would be a deterrent," said Sakuma. "But in doing so, you're moving them somewhere else, so somebody else will end up with the problem."