HONOLULU (KHON2) — The shooting at a chicken fight in West Oahu that left two people dead over the weekend highlights an ongoing problem in the islands.

Stephanie Kendrick, the Hawaiian Humane Society director of community engagement, said more needs to be done to protect the animals and our communities.

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“We as a community need to come together and just say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We don’t want this anymore,'” Kendrick said.

She’s sounding off after a shooting killed two people and injured three others at an illegal chicken fight in Maili just after midnight Friday.

“We’ve been saying for years that this activity is not, you know, some harmless gathering of chicken enthusiasts so it comes along with all sorts of violence, all sorts of other vice offenses. And you know, we’ve seen that unfortunately play out with tragic consequences,” she explained.

She said they’ve tried for years to add chickens to their animal cruelty statute so there could be legal consequences based on the treatment of the animals. Those efforts have failed.

That’s why cases are usually prosecuted over gambling, drug, or weapons offenses.

The impact of these illegal activities bleeds into the surrounding communities.

“These are folks who are scared, and they won’t come forward even to protect their own safety because they’re scared of their neighbors. This is an activity that involves a great deal of money and violence. And the folks, the folks who participate in cockfights can be pretty darn intimidating.”

In a statement, Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan said:

“The HPD will be stepping up illegal gambling enforcement, to include increased police presence, following this weekend’s fatal shootings in Maili.”

Logan said they are still searching for a suspect.

He said that groups involved in chicken fighting cases are highly organized and conduct on private property — making it difficult to investigate. To add on, neighbors are also reluctant to get involved for fear of retaliation.

According to the Honolulu Police Department, many tips were called in after the event occurred and some investigations were initiated.

Kendrick said more needs to be done for the animals as well.

“We need to be able to protect the chickens, the way we protect any other animal under our animal cruelty statute. I mean, what these birds have to endure is incredibly cruel.”

Chicken fighting currently only carries misdemeanor penalties. Violators could be fined between $250 to $1,000 or face 30 days in jail, or both.

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HPD said chicken fighting investigations are primarily handled by the Narcotics/Vice Division.