Shooting at popular Oahu park leaves Kalihi teen dead

Maj. Alan Bluemke
Maj. Alan Bluemke
Lori Matsumura
Lori Matsumura

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

ALA MOANA (KHNL) - A Kalihi teen is dead following an early-morning shooting at a popular Oahu park.

Regular users of Ala Moana Beach Park say they're surprised by the violent incident.

It's a busy Labor Day at Ala Moana Beach Park. Tia, Lea and Danielle are enjoying fishing with their parents.

"That, the brown one's mine," one of the girls said proudly. "The one over there, I caught it."

Lori Matsumura has always considered the park safe.

"I come running here," she said. "We were just here yesterday. We had our Girl Scout meeting here. It's a family-oriented place where we bring our kids to go swimming."

But while the girls fish for tilapia, investigators fish for clues in a murder. Officers responded to a report of a large fight and gunfire at about 2:40 am.

"Four males who were involved were located at the nearby shopping center. Two of those males have since gone to the Alapai headquarters to give statements," Maj. Alan Bluemke, Honolulu Police Department, said. "We're not classifying them as suspects."

The victim is identified as 18-year-old Khaynava Phanthanouvong. Police say his friends drove him to a hospital, where he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

"The motive for the fight or the shooting is undetermined at this time," Bluemke said. "We have not ruled out anything. However, it does not appear to be gang-related."

Sources say Phanthanouvong came to Hawaii to live with his sister just about a month ago.

The gunman is still on the loose.

"Kind of shocking just because we have our kids with us, and just unexpected," Matsumura said. "We had no idea."

Investigators say the shooting suspect is about 5'4" tall with a stocky build, and was last seen wearing a light-colored T-shirt and blue jeans.

If you have information about this case, call Honolulu police.