KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui police have arrested and charged a man with murder in the second degree after a deadly shooting in Kahului early Monday morning.
Sources say the suspect, 30-year-old Bronsen Rodrigues, used a rifle to shoot and kill 24-year-old Melvin Santos. Santos' family members believe the motive was over money and says Rodrigues needs to pay for what he's done.
"If the evidence is there and it's all pointing to that guy, then I think he deserves what he's gonna get…I think justice should be served. Whatever he's done he needs to pay for it," said Sharon Rummans, the victim's aunt.
The fatal shooting happened at a home on Kea Street around 2:50 a.m. Sources say it's a gambling house where card games are held regularly and Rodrigues was there earlier but left. They say four masked men walked up to the home with guns ordering everyone to get on the ground.
Rummans said one witness told her Santos was killed trying to defend himself. Sources say Santos used a three prong Hawaiian Sling to fight off his attacker.
"She thinks it's an inside job. Only one guy was talking and telling the other guys, 'Go check on that money, go check on that person.' Trying to rob them and anybody who didn't give in or who didn't give money, they got hit," Rummans said.
"What she saw was that my nephew was running away and he put himself in a shed, in a back shed. He locked himself in there and one guy followed him there. He tried to break in and she said that he fought back with something sharp…the guy, the gunman shot and fired one round, and he got him, in the heart," said Rummans.
Rummans says Santos was a talented sushi chef and he leaves behind his nine-month-old son.
Sources say police recovered clothing items in Rodrigues' vehicle that matched what witnesses say one of the suspects was wearing that night.
Rodrigues is currently being held without bail.
The Santos family has created a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.