THE VICTIMS: LUCKY TO BE ALIVE
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Joe and Francine Gedan were bound with cellophane tape on their bed Thursday night by a man who allegedly had shot and killed three people earlier. Yesterday, the Gedans were visited by neighbor Amy Sato, who said she had tried calling Thursday night to warn them about the commotion, not knowing that the Gedans' home had already been invaded.
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THE OTHER VICTIMS:
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME
COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Jason and Colleen Takamori flank her father, John Lee, in this undated family photo.
Loved ones shattered by Round Top killings
Jason and Colleen Takamori leave behind a daughter
After dropping off their only daughter at the airport, Jason and Colleen Takamori drove to the Tantalus Lookout on Thursday night to take pictures of Honolulu's skyline.
They never made it back home.
The couple was shot and killed allegedly by a 23-year-old man who police believe is also responsible for killing taxicab driver Manh The Nguyen.
Friends, co-workers and relatives recalled the victims fondly yesterday while still trying to make sense of their violent deaths.
"Jason and Colleen had been at the wrong place at the wrong time," Neal Takamori, Jason's stepbrother, said yesterday in a telephone interview. "He will be missed, I'm sure."
The Takamoris, who were both 53, left behind 23-year-old daughter Lianne.
Neal Takamori said he was still learning about what had happened and that he had spoken briefly with Lianne, a mechanical engineer at Urban Crossroads in California who had just received her engineering degree from the University of California at Irvine.
Neighbors set up a makeshift memorial last night in front of the couple's Makini Street home.
They said Colleen, a homemaker, and Jason, a plumber who taught courses at Honolulu Community College and played music, had been happy together for more than 20 years.
"They were pretty close," said Leighton Kalapa, a childhood friend who remembers joining the couple in long evening walks when they talked for hours. "I was pretty sad. We'll be missing them. In fact, the whole neighborhood will be missing them."
Jason played bass with the Monday Night Band every Monday at the Musicians Association of Hawaii Local 677 at 949 Kapiolani Blvd., where he had been a member since May 1971, said Michael Largarticha, the association's president for the past four years.
"I'm shocked by what's going on. He and his wife, I was told, had just bought a camera and were just taking pictures," Largarticha said. "He always had a smile on his face, a really nice guy."
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Round Top residents Joe and Francine Gedan recalled yesterday their harrowing home-invasion experience on Thursday.
Byron Yasui, who teaches music at the University of Hawaii, was preparing to perform at the Pacific Beach Hotel last night with an amplifier he bought from Jason, whom he described as a "nice guy, friendly and very helpful."
Jason Takamori was a 1971 Roosevelt High School graduate who got involved with music early on and supported the peace movement during the Vietnam War, said Rick Hoo, a classmate who now owns Parkside Salon in Kaimuki and organizes alumni reunions.
"He was a real quiet guy," Hoo said. "Those years in high school were the anti-war years, so he was like with the peace people."
Taxi driver Nguyen, 50, transported accused killer Adam Koon Wai Mau-Goffredo to Round Top before Mau-Goffredo apparently tried to rob him at gunpoint, police said.
Nguyen was remembered as a jovial family man and respected colleague known to co-workers as "the Man."
"He was a real professional, always neat and pleasant. He was one of the better drivers in town," said Howard Higa, president of TheCab.
Nguyen, who was originally from Vietnam, was married with children. The company withheld further family details yesterday.
"We're in shock here. We're all so distraught," said Higa, who spoke with Nguyen's relatives yesterday and described them as "devastated."
"Driving a cab is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world because you're picking up a stranger, and you don't know who they are or what their program is," he said.
Police believe Nguyen might have resisted Mau-Goffredo and was then shot.
"We have always told our people that if they are ever held up, give up the money! We'll reimburse them. But some people just may not be willing to hand over what they have," Higa said.
All 600 of TheCab's taxis are equipped with an emergency button for drivers, which signals the location of the taxi to TheCab's dispatch office, which in turn calls police.
This happens only about two or three times a year and is intended to safeguard both driver and passenger, Higa said. Nguyen did not press his button.
Nguyen regularly sought fares at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, where he was known as a jokester who often spoke about his family, said the hotel's taxi dispatcher, Leonard Walker.
"He was a real nice guy, a lot of fun. He was always joking around with everybody," Walker said.
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THE SUSPECT: A TRO
Adam Mau-Goffredo has been described as having schizophrenia
A man suspected of killing three people and then allegedly kidnapping and robbing three others Thursday night is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who is supposed to be under the care of court-appointed guardians, according to court documents.
Adam Koon Wai Mau-Goffredo, 23, was arrested on one count of first-degree robbery, three counts of kidnapping and one count of a place to keep a firearm. He is also the only suspect police are looking at involving the murders of 50-year-old taxicab driver Manh Nguyen and Jason and Colleen Takamori, both 53, a Kapahulu couple who police said were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
"It's really rare," said Honolulu Police Department spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii about the triple homicide case. "A senseless and heinous crime."
According to court documents, Mau-Goffredo's mother, Lynnette Li Liang Mau, and caregiver William Roy Carroll Jr. petitioned in March to be appointed co-guardians of Mau-Goffredo, who was described as an "incapacitated person." The documents say Mau-Goffredo was diagnosed as having "schizophrenia, paranoid type, with residual symptoms."
Sometimes his illness "interferes with his judgment and he must rely on his caretaker, Roy Carroll, and his mother to assist in making decisions for him," according to documents.
Sources close to the family said Mau-Goffredo's mother used to be the sole caregiver for him, but in recent years his condition worsened and he became more difficult to care for. Before the petition for guardianship, court documents show Mau-Goffredo's mother filed a temporary restraining order against her son in 2002.
Mau-Goffredo's mother could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Carroll, who is listed on the petition for guardianship as Mau-Goffredo's "caretaker and physical custodian" and who lists his occupation as a "case manager for those with mental illness," also could not be reached for comment yesterday. At the time the petition was filed, Mau-Goffredo's residence was listed at Carroll's home on 10th Avenue in Palolo.
According to court documents, Mau-Goffredo's birth father, Francis Goffredo, and mother divorced in 1988. Goffredo's attorney said his client has barely had contact with his son even before the divorce became final and was stunned when he heard about the shootings.
"He was shocked and sick at heart," said Goffredo's attorney, Jim Wright. "After they were divorced nearly 18 years ago, he had only seen his son a few times and then only in recent years.
"When he received notice of the guardianship proceedings, he tried to call to get more information but was instructed that he could not talk to his son or Carroll and could only talk to his former wife's attorney. His understanding was that his former wife and Mr. Carroll were taking legal responsibility for Adam's care and behavior by becoming his guardian."
Mau is a grandson of isle developer Bill Mau, who built the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, Waikiki Business Plaza, the Ambassador Hotel and the old Aloha Motors.
Mau-Goffredo managed to get ahold of a .45-caliber handgun and called a taxivan driven by Nguyen, then headed up to Tantalus Lookout, according to police.
The gun used in the shootings is believed to be the same one that was reported stolen from Carroll's home overnight after the killings occurred, according to sources. However, police said they have not yet recovered the weapon.
Once on Tantalus, police said there might have been some sort of struggle or a botched robbery attempt, which led to Mau-Goffredo shooting Nguyen and the Takamoris, who were there to take photographs of the city lights, according to Fujii.
After the shootings, Mau-Goffredo got into Nguyen's cab and drove to the Round Top Drive home of Joe and Francine Gedan, where he allegedly forced his way into their home and tied up Francine with Scotch tape, according to police.
Mau-Goffredo waited until Joe Gedan came home and bound him up at gunpoint as well, then did the same to their live-in housekeeper when she came to the door, police said. After the suspect left in the Gedans' Jaguar, the victims untied themselves and called police, who arrested Mau-Goffredo at a police checkpoint set up near the 2600 block of Tantalus Drive about 8 p.m.
Thursday's murders bring Oahu's total this year to 11, compared with six for the same time last year.