HONOLULU (KHON2) — Honolulu police have opened an attempted murder investigation after a 17-year-old male was shot overnight on Thursday, April 27 near the Liliha area.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said the boy had multiple gunshot wounds to his neck, hip and hand and was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

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Police said they are searching for a suspect.

Communities are on edge after several recent violent crimes.

Just after midnight on Wednesday, April 26, two friends said they were jumped and beaten up on a Waikiki side street.

Two friends said they were leaving a birthday dinner and were walking to meet up with friends when several men approached them from a dark alley area.

“I’m being pursued by two of the guys and getting punched and kicked, and I fell over in front of a parking garage,” remembered victim Chris Elkins.

His friend Ryssa, who lives on island, was also hit in the head by the group of men. She recalled the men kicking her and laughing while she was on the ground.

“They were kicking me. You can kind of see I have all black bruises on my hands. They were, like, kicking my hands because they’re trying to kick my face,” Ryssa recalled.

Ryssa and Chris said a security guard came and scared off the suspects.

Ryssa suffered from cracked ribs, and Chris has a broken nose from the incident.

“You never think it’s gonna happen to you,” she said about the assault. She said she typically avoids Waikiki and has been avoiding the area for the last five years. “But I know at least one person or two people that it’s happened to now; and now, I’m a part of that. So, I won’t be going back there; that’s for sure.”

Experts said people should always be aware of their surroundings and not be looking at their phones if they’re walking by themselves. Former Assistant Maui Police Chief Clyde Holokai said suspects typically prey on weaker individuals and people not paying attention.

“It can happen in a second,” he said. “Have a game plan ready in your head. Most times people are going to be familiar with the area they’re walking; so, have a game plan ready. If this were to happen, where would I go? How would I react? What would I do? Stop, screen, then run if you can, get away from there.”

“The rise in the number of violent crimes, along with the severity of the violence, must be a concern for us all. Over the last two years, the criminal suspects our officers encounter are more brazen and more willing to attack or shoot at an officer than ever before. We need to take on this out-of-control violence head-on by addressing our statewide police officer recruitment and retention crisis and by ensuring that the criminals we arrest are held accountable and not just let out on the streets again to victimize more of our community.”

Robert Cavaco, President, SHOPO

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“It makes me very sad because Hawaii is supposed to be the Aloha state. You know? We’re supposed to respect each other like it’s just not like that anymore,” Ryssa added.