Roughly 30 to 40 family and friends of a 16-year-old boy shot to death by police gathered to mourn him Wednesday at the shooting site in Pawaa along Kalakaua Avenue.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner, through the mayor’s office, released the teen’s identity as Iremamber Sykap of Aiea, and said he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
His 20-year-old niece referred to Sykap as “my little uncle,” because he was the youngest in her mother’s family.
A makeshift memorial of bouquets of flowers grew as more joined the mourners.
But his niece said: “I don’t need no flowers. I want his life back.”
His sisters wailed in anguish next to the canal into which the car he was driving had crashed.
Police said the Honda Civic that Sykap was driving was stolen, and involved in an armed robbery 20 minutes before it was spotted at a beach park in East Honolulu, and was also linked to other crimes.
A police pursuit ended when the Honda, carrying six occupants and heading into oncoming traffic on Kalakaua, rammed through police cars and went into the canal after three officers fired seven to eight shots at the vehicle. No guns have been found belonging to those in the vehicle.
Police arrested Sykap’s older brother, Mark, 18, who was injured in the gunfire, on suspicion of three counts of first-degree attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and a drug charge. Kealii Fernandez, 21, was charged with unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
A 14-year-old boy who was also in the car and is a cousin of the Sykaps sustained serious, non-gunshot-related injuries. A second 16-year-old was also taken into custody.
A friend of the family, who asked not to be identified and was not at the scene, said the Sykap children were uprooted from Guam, where their father had died when they were young.
Their mother lost her husband and didn’t know how to care for all the children when they moved to Hawaii, she said.
Their paternal grandfather, who was like their father, died years ago.
She said she cries for these “lost kids,” who need help.
“I appeal to every parent and every Chuukese leader to please stand up and do their part because our children are lost. We need to reach out to these kinds of families. They need love, nourishment,” the family friend said. “They need to be heard.”