HONOLULU (KHON2) — Dozens of Kalihi community members joined the family and friends of Malakai Maumalanga, also known as Mo by loved ones. Those who knew him shared their memories with him as they continue to seek answers for his senseless murder.

Mo tragically lost his life on Saturday, March 27.

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First responders found the 45-year-old man lifeless with gunshot wounds. Some residents said loud popping noises rang through the usually quiet neighborhood.

A former gang member, Mo successfully transformed his life and became a well-respected professional in the community.

Mo’s cousin, Ana Namoa, said his death still feels surreal.

“It’s just so hard not to see his smiling face,” Namoa said. “He was loved by everybody, the community not only from Kalihi, but from different communities that were poverty stricken that were influenced by him.”

Members of the non-profit organization Adult Friends for Youth said they worked with Mo from an early age and continued to work with him through his youth and into early adulthood.

Maumalanga went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. Through his work with AFY, the nonprofit says he dedicated his life to helping others and most recently served as director of Redirectional Services.

“Mo was an amazing young man that had so much respect for people,” said Deborah Spencer-Chun, President and CEO of Adult Friends for Youth. “He was charismatic and the person in the room everyone wanted to be with. He had a heart of gold and gave so much of himself to the young people AFY served. He wanted to always give back what he was given in life: a second chance. He will be dearly missed. I, (along with) the other staff members and the family have been inundated with calls and texts because of all the lives he has touched. He was truly a peaceful warrior and a champion for our kids.”

Mo is survived by his wife and five children.

Family members like Namoa continue to ask for answers on this case and ask for the violence the stop.

Namoa said, “To come to his home, while his wife and children and family were at home. It’s just baffling that someone would do something like this.”

In partnership with the local non-profit, Adult Friends for Youth, the Central Pacific Bank (CPB) is collecting donations for the surviving family of Maumalanga.

Donations can be made at any CPB branch. Checks can be made payable to: The Malakai “Mo” Maumalanga Memorial Fund. For those looking to donate online, click here. Please indicate on the form that your donation is for The Malakai “Mo” Maumalanga Memorial Fund.

For a list of CPB branches, click here.