Gunshots heard at Kualapu’u Elementary School

| May 21, 2013 | 10 Comments

Kualapu’u School News Release

Blissfully unaware of the danger, a group of 5-year-olds are taking turns on the playground slide while another group of 7-year-old students dart across the schoolyard playing tag.

Kualapu'u conducted a partial lockdown of the school last week, temporarily shutting down the hallways and back buildings. It occurred during recess so it didn't impact learning.

Kualapu’u conducted a partial lockdown of the school last week, temporarily shutting down the hallways and back buildings. It occurred during recess so it didn’t impact learning time.


Suddenly, gunshots ring out through the air, the playground is evacuated and the school goes into lockdown. Unfortunately this is not a scenario from Sandy Hook Elementary or Columbine High School, it is happening right here on Molokai at Kualapu’u Elementary School.

Thankfully, the targets in these incidents are deer and not children, but it still presents a danger to our students. Several times each school year, including once in the past week, poachers on adjacent properties have been shooting during the school day near the school. In one incident several students actually witnessed the deer falling dead and being retrieved by two hunters behind the school.

These incidents not only pose a danger for our students and staff, but also disrupt the learning process. Each time this happens the police are called and students must remain in safe locations until the police deem it safe to return to regular operations.

Police have responded quickly to every incident, but it continues to happen. Surrounding property owners have confirmed that this gunfire is indeed poachers who do not have permission to hunt on their properties.

We must take precautions with each incident to ensure the safety of our students. Children should never have to hear gunshots while they are at school. Kualapu’u School administration understands that hunting is a way of life on Molokai, but on behalf of our students, staff and parents we plead with you not to hunt during school hours.

Students are on campus from 7 a.m. and sometimes until 5 p.m. or later on weekdays. The community’s support and cooperation with this matter is most appreciated.

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  1. kalaniua ritte says:

    wasnt kualapuu ranch having paid hunts in the area as well…but still shooting next to schools come on guys

    • Kevin says:

      Kualapu’u Ranch has never and will never conduct paid hunts. The incidents described in the article are from people who are hunting illegally, putting the safety of both the students and Kualapu’u Ranch employes needlessly in danger. The Police department and Kualapu’u Ranch employees have responded to these incidents but have yet to apprehend those responsible for the illegal hunting.

    • Keikiaina says:

      Mr. Ritte are always looking to say something negative, Mr. Ritte. Kualapuu Ranch has been a good neighbor in Kualapuu and Kalae. They are responsible ranchers.

      • kalaniua ritte says:

        kualapuu ranch never had people from off island or the mainland come to hunt in that area really?i geuss ill have to ask a former worker if that is true.people should never shoot rifles next to homes or schools,hunt responsibily.aloha “child land”

        • Keikiaina says:

          Mr. Ritte is there a code of ethics in hunting? Did you know that some hunters where up in Kalae and their dogs attacked a neighbors pet pig in their yard. What was even more outrageous is that the mother and her 2 daughters had to witness this horrible actions by some hunters dog’s while walking to the bus stop that morning. It took the father to have to shoot one of the hunting’s dogs to scare them off.
          Can you imagine this scene in the morning? There are hunting dogs loose all over Kalae and their are homes all up in Kalae with children playing in their yards. Shots are heard in the morning daylight.
          I just hope a accident never happens where a person, child gets shot by a stray bullet from someone hunting in Kalae at the state park or on Meyer’s land.
          I hope you can address these issues of safety with hunters.
          Thank you

      • steve says:

        ua doesn’t need me to defend his point of view, and often times it is far different than mine, but he just made a very positive comment last week encouraging westenders to ‘protect their sh#t”.

        disagree that he is “always looking to say something negative”.

  2. BEVERLY WILLIAMS says:

    Have observed two poachers hunting in the West End around Ke Nani Kai. Usually around dusk so if police are called it is too dark to look for them. They know they are doing an illegal act but don’t care who they put at risk. I have seen one of them on the MECO bus but have no proof he is the one shooting.

  3. Carl Brito says:

    From day one, never had a problem w/ Kualapuu Ranch…good neighbors…I myself have called the cops when poachers shoot too close to my house…..school/church/house, don’t matter peeps need to stop trespassing & using high powered rifles irresponsibly…& quit picking on the rich guy…that’s why I prefer to stay poor…soon as you get an extra $10.00 in your pocket peeps start attacking you…ssshhhheeessshhhh!! :)

  4. kalae says:

    Bunch of idiots to be hunting close/near any school or homes. No sense at all!!

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