Lawmakers discuss concerns for area near Whitmore Village where a woman died after being shot

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A woman who died after being shot near Whitmore Village over the weekend has been identified.

The medical examiner’s office identified her as 30-year-old Malia Soma-Valmoja of Wahiawa.

She was shot in a farm area owned by the state’s Agribusiness Development Corporation.

Police say she was on the phone with a friend saying she was in an argument with someone.

It’s an area that has a history of many other crimes.

Nearly 1,200 acres of farm land stretches across Kamehameha Highway between Whitmore Village and Haleiwa.

Last month a man told KHON2 that his car was stolen and he was shocked to find it here in what he called a massive chop shop.

Local lawmakers say they are aware of other crimes happening here.

“We reported it to police and then we’re informed that because it’s on ADC land there’s all these legal questions about ways in which we can enforce the law on ADC land,” said Rep. Amy Perruso, D, Wahiawa, Whitmore Village.

KHON2 reached out to the Agribusiness Development Corporation again on Monday but was told there would be no comment on the situation due to an on-going lawsuit.

Rep. Perruso says something needs to happen soon because the area is developing a bad reputation.

“I think that if the state is going to own land then the state needs to take responsibility for it,” said Perruso. “Not just serve as a broker. We need to monitor and regulate that land.”

She says in the last session they were able to pass an audit of ADC.

She hopes it comes back this session with useful information and recommendations to fix up the area.

“But also make sure it’s being used well by others even when it’s leased out by others,” added Perruso. “It’s still our ultimate responsibility so that audit report will be very important moving forward and hat will determine wha tour next steps are.”

Hours after the shooting Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz said he drafted a bill to hopefully create law enforcement for ag lands.

“Unfortunately we’re at the point where we have to put some money and some positions to be more proactive in this effort,” Dela Cruz said.

Rep. Perruso says her community is becoming frustrated with the state’s lack of response

“It’s like the state is willing to turn a blind eye and so that delegitimizes the roll of law enforcement and the state and my community,” added Perruso.”And it sort of starts to feel like a lawless place.”

The legislature starts a new session on Wednesday.

Honolulu police still have not made an arrest in connection with the shooting.

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