Man dies after being shot near Chinatown
The victim is identified as Daniel Truelove
A 24-year-old man was killed after another man shot him near Chinatown on Saturday, but police said it's too early to say whether the shooter was linked to a prostitute working in the area.
The Department of the Medical Examiner identified the victim as Daniel W. Truelove of Honolulu. Police said Truelove was recently staying in Makaha and had a previous arrest record, but could not provide further information last night.
According to police, Truelove and his brother approached a prostitute on Nuuanu Avenue and South Kukui Street shortly before midnight Saturday.
Lt. Bill Kato of the Honolulu Police Department's Homicide Detail said Truelove and his brother got into an argument with the prostitute. That's when two suspects intervened.
Police said the prostitute ran away and one of the suspects pulled out a handgun.
Truelove and his brother ran south on Nuuanu Avenue when four to six gunshots were fired between two residential high-rises, Kukui Plaza and Honolulu Park Place. Police found 9 mm bullet casings at the scene, Kato said.
Truelove suffered gunshot wounds to his upper torso. He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, where he later died. Police said Truelove's brother was able to get away.
An autopsy is expected to be performed on Truelove today to determine the exact cause of death.
Some witnesses told police they saw the suspects in a sport utility vehicle before the shooting occurred. Kato said there were possibly two SUVs involved. It's not clear at this time whether the shooting came from either of the vehicles, he said.
Kato said the two suspects were last seen walking in the Ewa-bound direction on Kukui Street toward Maunakea Street.
A witness who did not want to be identified said she was about to drive out of the parking lot exit at Honolulu Park Place after visiting a family member when she heard two "popping" sounds.
At first, she thought they were firecrackers, but then she saw a couple of men running across Nuuanu Avenue. She described one of the suspects as wearing a light-colored, baggy T-shirt. The other suspect was carrying a white-colored hockey stick.
As the witness was about to drive mauka-bound onto Nuuanu Avenue, a cream or white-colored SUV was in front of her vehicle heading in the same direction.
Right in front of the Honolulu Park Place exit, the driver, described to be a man with a strong, thick build, stuck his left arm straight out of the window, and that's when she heard more popping sounds and saw two "bright flashes" go off, she said.
"At that point, I realized I saw a gun," said the witness, who was shaken by the incident. She swerved toward Chinatown to avoid being caught in the line of fire, she said.
The witness said she later saw Truelove sprawled on his back on the ground on the makai-bound lanes of Nuuanu Avenue near Kukui Street. She said she heard a total of four gunshots fired -- two coming from the Kukui Street side and the other two from the gunman driving the SUV.
Police described the two suspects as males, one about 5 foot 6 inches tall and the other 5 foot 8 inches tall. One of the men was described as stocky with facial hair.
After the shooting, Kato said he spoke to Truelove's brother at Queen's. He told him they did not know the suspects.
Prostitutes are known to frequent Kukui Street all day and night from Pali Longs to College Walk, said Lynne Matusow, chairwoman of the Downtown Neighborhood Board.
"It's been going on for years. It has been a problem," Matusow said.
Of the gunshots fired, Matusow said, "Somebody could've been hurt by a stray bullet."
Matusow said this is the first time she heard about a shooting possibly relating to prostitution. "It's scary," she said.