HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A masked woman armed with a handgun opened fire on a group of friends playing mahjong in the garage of an Aiea home early Monday.
It’s the latest in a string of crimes on Oahu in which criminals use guns to get what they want.
The incident happened about 1:30 a.m. on Puakala Street.
Cora Echalas, 57, said she’s still shaken after the incident in her own garage. She and five of her friends were targeted, she said.
“My brother-in-law had just left,” said Echalas. “He forgot to close the gate.”
A few minutes later, a masked woman wearing all black walked out of the shadows.
Echalas told HNN the robber said, “Don’t move!" The suspect then shot the gun and shouted, "Give me all your wallets, your purse and your jewelry.”
The robbery comes amid what police describe as a spike in gun crimes on Oahu.
Police Chief Susan Ballard said in a news conference last week that while the overall crime rate is about the same, crimes involving guns are up 20% compared to three years ago.
“We have seen increases in the number of crimes involving firearms and that is very problematic to us,” Ballard said.
HPD Maj. Walter Ozeki added, “Aside from these organized groups, most of them are just desperation crimes."
Echalas says the woman got away with four purses and a two cell phones. The way it all went down she doubts it was her first hold-up.
“She seems professional,” said Echalas. “She’s not nervous.”
The robber is described as a local woman, about 5-foot-6, with a medium build. Echalas said she escaped in a waiting SUV.
If you have any information on the case, call Honolulu Crimestoppers.