Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Mililani community voices concerns after series of violent crimes

Grant Nakasone
In another crime in the community, a Mililani Mauka Elementary student was allegedly chased on their way home. AD: This photo is taken at Mililani Mauka Elementary School and primarily features the school’s outdoor announcements sign. It is located in the entrance to the school parking lot.

In the wake of a string of crimes in Mililani over the past year, educators and residents are voicing concerns and urging vigilance, but not panic, in the community.

In February 2023, a woman was intentionally struck by a vehicle at Walmart before the suspect assaulted another victim. One month later, a 21-year-old was found dead in a burnt vehicle at the Mililani High School gym parking lot.

These are just two examples of a series of violent incidents in the past year.

Most recently, on Jan. 29, a Mililani Mauka Elementary student was allegedly chased on their way home from school by an unknown individual in a white van.

As the crimes become more threatening and seemingly random, residents have growing concerns.

Kamryn Shigemoto, a university student in California from Mililani, said she’s worried about the safety of her youngest brother who attends Mililani Mauka.

“[The victim] is not safe even at a school where there are so many teachers and staff members. I think it’s fortunate that nothing happened to my brother personally, but it’s definitely scary to know that it could,” Shigemoto said.

But it’s not only community members who say they’re worried; educators are also urging more awareness.

“We need to be more cognizant, I guess, and educate the children how to be safe and what to do in case there is a situation like the one that happened with our student,” said Cynthia Takamoto, the curriculum coordinator at Mililani Mauka Elementary.

In a community board meeting last year, Honolulu Police Department Chief Joe Logan said it’s unfortunate that crimes in a relatively safe community are becoming an issue and hopes more enforcement will settle things down.

Grant Nakasone is a sophomore, second-year journalism major at UH Mānoa and is primarily interested in web and broadcast journalism with a focus in politics.

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Grant Nakasone
Grant Nakasone, Contributor
Hi everyone! My name is Grant Nakasone, and I'm a sophomore journalism major at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. I was born and raised on Oahu, having grown up in Wahiawa but attending school in neighboring Mililani, where I graduated from Mililani High School in 2022. My interest and eventual passion for journalism sparked in the latter years of high school after taking numerous media and expository writing courses, while also developing a particular interest in local, national, and global politics. That passion has only been enhanced and inflamed throughout my relatively short time in the journalism program at UH. I believe that as journalism students and aspiring professional journalists, we all have an obligation and commitment to the pursuit and proliferation of the truth. With the very definition of truth becoming so convoluted and lost over the past years, the responsibility to recenter and refocus the perception and interpretation of it, rests on our shoulders. Although I'm aware that many challenges lie ahead, I hope to earn a professional career in broadcast journalism in Hawai'i, allowing me to work directly with the unique and special community that did so well to raise me, my family, my friends, and everyone else in the state of Hawai'i.

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