Trial begins in fatal Christmas shooting at Ala Moana Center

Trial begins in fatal Christmas shooting at Ala Moana Center
Steve Feliciano (image: Family)
Steve Feliciano (image: Family)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Was it murder or a mistake?

That's the key question as a young man's trial begins for a fatal Christmas night shooting at Ala Moana Center.

Former Moanalua High School football player, 20-year-old Steven Feliciano, was shot in point blank in the back of the head in 2016 at the shopping mall.

Dae Han Moon,20, turned himself in five days later.

Authorities say Feliciano's friend was buying marijuana from Moon's friend when a fight broke out.

The case hinges on whether Moon meant to pull the trigger.

Defense attorney Victor Bakke said his client was acting in self-defense and didn't mean to kill him.

"He turns on Moon, starts to turn around and comes at him, he's gonna come at him with a knife like that. What happens? Moon protects himself, hits him on the head again. At that time, the gun went off by accident, complete accident," Bakke said in opening statements on Friday.

Prosecutor Scott Bell believes that's a lie and urged the jury to find Moon guilty as charged.

Moon is charged with second-degree murder and multiple weapons crimes.

"It was a contact gunshot wound. The muzzle of a small-caliber semi-automatic pistol was pressed up to the back of Steve's head. There was a loud pop and a bullet sped down the barrel of the pistol, blasted through his skull and then burrowed into his brain," Bell said.

Meanwhile, the victim's mother is begging the jury to find the truth.

"I don't know how to live a day without hearing my son's voice," said Fiti Feliciano, fighting back tears. "I just hope that the jury … hopefully God will be with them."

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