Woman, 43, fatally stabbed at Ewa mall


POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2009

A 43-year-old woman died yesterday afternoon after she was stabbed several times with a kitchen knife at a busy Ewa Beach shopping center.

; Shortly after the attack, police arrested a 25-year-old Ewa Beach man on suspicion of second-degree murder. The woman was identified as Asa Yamashita, 43, of Ewa Beach.

Police are trying to determine whether Yamashita knew her alleged attacker.

“;No one actually saw the initial confrontation; they just saw what was happening as she was being stabbed,”; said Honolulu police Lt. Bill Kato. “;She was calling for help.”;

Kato said the man stabbed the woman several times in the upper torso while she was in front of the Lovely Nails II store at Ewa Town Center at 91-1401 Fort Weaver Road.

Yamashita escaped the attacker by going into the nail salon.

She was taken to Hawaii Medical Center-West, where she died.

Responding officers arrested the suspect at the corner of Geiger and Fort Weaver roads at 1:53 p.m. Police found a kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon.

Police are still questioning witnesses to find out what happened before the attack.

Alana Cardenas, a teller supervisor at American Savings Bank, said a customer came in screaming that a woman was being stabbed by her boyfriend.

When Cardenas went outside, she saw a man trying to get inside the door of Lovely Nails II, but someone held the door closed.

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The man casually walked up the street to the corner and sat down, she said.

“;He looked strange because he was just walking casually, not frantically running or trying to get away or anything,”; she said.

Cardenas said she looked inside the Lovely Nails store. “;She was alive on the ground in a pool of blood in front of the doorway,”; she said.

A hairdresser at the nearby Supercuts store later told Cardenas that the woman had just had a haircut and went outside to wait for a ride when she was stabbed.

Glory Blossey, a manager at the bank, was unnerved by the apparent randomness of the attack.

“;I had hoped maybe they knew each other. If it's not, then it's scary,”; she said.

Sherwin Pang, who lives across the street at Sun Terrace, said the neighborhood is usually peaceful. “;I wouldn't think that anything like that would happen in our own community, but I guess it happens anywhere,”; he said.