Woman dies in Windward street beating
Kailua residents watched helplessly last night as a woman was brutally beaten to death by a man using a rifle or shotgun.
"The guy is just banging away at her, banging away at her, then she hit the ground," said witness Walter Guerreiro, 52.
He said he saw one neighbor try to help the woman, but the suspect beat him with the firearm as well.
"And then he went back to her" and continued the beating, Guerreiro said.
"I never seen one animal getting beaten like that," said Guerreiro, who feared the man might turn the gun on him if he tried to help.
Neighbors saw the gun splintering as the man mercilessly beat the young woman, and said they felt frustrated because they were unable to do anything.
Police responded to calls that a black Ford Explorer was going eastbound on Maluniu Avenue at about 5:30 p.m.
The man allegedly rammed his sport utility vehicle into the woman's car, a white four-door Chevy sedan, four times, causing her car to spin out, homicide Lt. Bill Kato said.
The man got out of his SUV near the intersection with Maluniu Place and began striking the woman with a rifle or shotgun, he said.
The man then turned on a neighbor who had come out to help the woman, according to police and witnesses.
The good Samaritan, a man in his 60s, was taken to Castle Medical Center in stable condition, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for city Emergency Medical Services.
Police arrested the suspect about 15 to 20 minutes later at his Kaneohe Bay Drive home on suspicion of murder.
Kato said police do not know the relationship between the woman and her assailant.
A woman who came to the scene recognized the car as belonging to a tenant and said the victim had two children, a boy, 1, and a girl, 2.
Another woman who said she knew the victim said she was 29 years old and was a dental hygienist in Kailua.
She believed the man who killed her is her ex-boyfriend.
She also said he had allegedly broken into her home and taken her baby boy at some point.
She said the woman's name was Janelle and that she had reconciled with her husband.
Guerreiro, who was one of several neighbors who identified the suspect at his Kaneohe home, described the suspect as weighing about 300 pounds.
Guerreiro got the license plate number of the suspect's SUV, which allowed police to find the man quickly.
"He was just whaling away like a free-for-all," he said. "Everyone called 911 at the same time."
Kato said police recovered pieces of the firearm, which seemed to have come apart.
He acknowledged that it was a possible case of domestic violence, just a week after the fatal stabbing of 39-year-old Jenny Hartsock of Kalihi, whose husband has been charged with murder.