Police investigate gruesome murder at Maui mall

(Image: Maui 24/7)
(Image: Maui 24/7)

MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are still trying to determine what led up to a gruesome murder Sunday at Maui's Queen Kaahumanu Center.

Authorities said Kumulipo Sylva, 23, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and remains in custody.

There was no information immediately available on the victim.

The arrest came after a man was found unconscious in a bathroom outside the men's department at Macy's about 3:15 p.m. Sources say the victim was slashed in the neck, and police said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing a male suspect flee the scene.

A group of people playing disc golf nearby then spotted him in a ditch and alerted police.

They chased the suspect until he was cornered by a fence at Kahului Community Park.

"We all started converging on him," said Frank Wilkerson, of Kula, adding that the suspect said "something about the devil being on the moon or something bizarre like that."

A.J. Wilson, of Kahana, described the episode as a "crazy."

"We didn't know we were talking to a murderer," he said.

Kris Jolls told Hawaii News Now that while the players told the suspect not to run.

"Then he turned around and said, 'I'm not going to run.' Right when we told him that, the police were there," he said.

Jolls added that a police officer who arrived drew a Taser, "and then the guy said, 'Don't tase me, don't tase me!'"

"He got down on his knees and the other police officer came with his weapon and that's when they put the cuffs on him," he said.

The gruesome murder left mallgoers shaken.

"I went to use the bathroom. I noticed a bag on the ground in the last stall, so I figured someone was using the bathroom," 15-year-old witness Anthony said.  "Me and my brother left. Then five minutes later, we come back and there was all these cop cars. I was thinking that must've been the guy that was in the bathroom when I was there."

This isn't the first time police have investigated a stabbing at Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center. In 2011, a man was stabbed in a bathroom near Macy's, and the suspect fled. The case was classified as a first-degree assault.

This story will be updated. 

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