KAHULUI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - One month after a man was killed in a machete attack at a mall in Kahului, the management of Queen Kaahumanu Center announced it's making changes to improve security.
The brutal killing of Alex Cerezo, followed by HNN's report on an inappropriate email from mall management to a store owner about the shopping center's homeless problem, prompted mall ownership to fly to Maui and complete a full review of its operations.
Tuesday morning, tenants were invited to take part in what was advertised as a special interest meeting. While denying security lapses led to the killing — mall management told shop owners about some changes in their security plans.
That includes its plans to eliminate the bus transit hub on mall property when its contract with the county expires in 2020. Until then they are considering the possibility of placing a security officer at the bus stop.
The mall's security guards will also undergo crisis intervention training to learn how to interact with people suffering with mental health issues. Queen Kaahumanu Center also joined Maui's hotel and resort security association.
One mall tenant said the meeting lasted only about 20 minutes and left him underwhelmed.
"The changes were vague. They were not specific nor did they state when they would be implemented," said the owner of Village Home, Daniel Norton. "My feeling going forward is that the offers of increased security or a more coherent management style are going to evaporate as soon as the situation dies down."
The family of the man killed in the machete attack was also in attendance and released this statement: "I am pleased that upper level mall management finally acknowledged that changes need to be made. It is our hope that the announcements made today are not merely lip service to ease tenant and community safety concerns."
The center's overview and operational update can be found below: