By Beth Hillyer
KAILUA (KHNL) -- A brazen gunman robs Kailua's popular Kalapawai Market with an apparent assault rifle. Store employees are still shaken up by the crime and customers are alarmed as well. Those who work at and shop at the popular market hope you can help identify the suspect.
Kalapawai Market is a Kailua landmark. In the morning, locals and visitors alike drop in for a cup of coffee and a fresh pastry. They offer sandwiches throughout the day.
"In a local little neighborhood, community store, we have been around for a long time. This is the first time we have been robbed," said market owner Lindsey Diamond.
This gunman barged in Wednesday night. He hides his weapon in a bag. He drops the bag then puts it on the counter. He demands the employee fill it with cash then confronts a stock boy who takes a few steps backward.
Witnesses say the most shocking thing about the hold-up is the weapon he's holding.
"This is scary, something new. This is firearms down at the beach, this is assault rifles down at Kailua Beach Park and they shouldn't be there."
Word of the robbery is upsetting to customers.
"All day, regulars have been coming in offering their support. They have been themselves very worried about this sort of thing happening in Kailua," said store manager, James Hoffer. "One of the customers actually told me she thinks of Kalapawai as her house and her own house had been broken into."
He added, "I never thought I would see armed robbery of this caliber in a small town like Kailua. Men with automatic or semi-automatic weapons holding up a local town store is just appalling."
For some, the incident has tarnished the tranquility of Kailua.