Community demands government action following the fatal shooting of a woman in Whitmore Village
A young woman brutally murdered in Wahiawa has been identified by her family as Malia Soma Valmoja.
They created a GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/f/as86sx-our-beautiful-malia-forever-young) to raise funds for her funeral and her teenage son. They describe her as a beautiful person inside and out, with a big heart and the biggest smile, young and full of life.
But that life was cut short when she was gunned down in former pineapple fields near Kamehameha Highway and Nui Avenue. According to residents of the area, it's been neglected by the state despite heavy criminal activity.
Valmoja's family is circulating a Change.org petition (https://www.change.org/p/donovan-dela-cruz-justice-for-malia-s-death) asking lawmakers to keep their community safe by allocating funds and resources to crack down on crime on land owned by the state's Agribusiness Development Corporation.
The family is backing a new bill being introduced by Senator Donovan Delacruz and Representative Amy Perruso, asking for law enforcement on state agricultural lands.
"The community has been really frustrated and I would say even alienated by the lack of legal attention or law enforcement attention to these problems and they really feel like, you know, the state's use of law enforcement has been in many ways inexplicable," Representative Perruso said.
The Valmoja family says better oversight of the long-troubled property could have prevented the senseless killing, and hope a new law can prevent such a tragedy from happening to other families.
"It's not simply a matter of law enforcement, right, we get into issues of homelessness, drug addiction, human trafficking, there's all kinds of problems that we're going to have to address," Representative Perruso said. "It saddens me that it requires something of this magnitude, the loss of life, for us to actually address lawless behavior."