Motive in Kapolei murder-suicide remains elusive - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Motive in Kapolei murder-suicide remains elusive

Courtesy: Star Advertiser Courtesy: Star Advertiser
Scene of shooting in Kapolei Scene of shooting in Kapolei
Scene of shooting in Kapolei Scene of shooting in Kapolei
KAPOLEI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Police continue to search for a motive in a New Year's Day murder-suicide that has shocked a quiet Kapolei neighborhood.

The shooter has been identified as Rugel Queja, 32, of Waipahu.

Sources say Queja's mother was friends with the victim, Francisca Funtanilla, 56, of Kapolei.

Queja was attending a New Year's Day party at Funtanilla's home, at 1225 Kukulu St., when he pulled out a gun, shot Funtanilla, then turned the gun on himself.

Police sources say there appeared to be no confrontation immediately before the shooting, which happened about 2:35 p.m. in Funtanilla's living room.

Shortly before the shooting, Queja was talking to Funtanilla, his mother and his aunt, then excused himself to go to the restroom, sources said. When Queja came back into the living room, he fired a single shot into the back of Funtanilla's head without saying a word, sources say. Then, he shot himself.

Queja was still breathing when first responders got to the scene. Investigators found a gun under his body and another loaded revolver and loaded magazine clip in his pocket.

He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead about 90 minutes after the shooting. Funtanilla was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Right now this does not appear to be domestic violence-related and we're still trying to determine what led up to the confrontation," said Honolulu police Lt. Phillip Lavarias. 

Neighbors said they didn't hear anything, and only learned something had happened when emergency crews showed up. 

"It was a really quiet afternoon and fire department showed up, and then the cops showed up, and then the kids ran up and said there was fire department outside, so I kind of assumed it was a medical issue," said Chris Abele, who lives a few houses away.

Police sources say the suspect has no prior arrests and the guns were registered to him. They also say Funtanilla's husband was sleeping downstairs during the attack.

Funtanilla was described by the Star Advertiser as a faith healer. She had four daughters. Family members have declined comment.

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