Maui News

Maui Murder Suspect Heard Saying: “I Was Sent To End You”

March 21, 2018, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated March 21, 9:36 AM
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New details have surfaced in a fatal stabbing at Maui’s Queen Kaʻahumanu Center over the weekend, that paint a disturbing picture of what transpired on Sunday afternoon. A witness told police that he heard the suspect tell the victim, “I was sent to end you,” and “I’ve been sending demons to the moon,” before he was observed allegedly swinging a machete at the victim.

Maui Now graphic.

Kumulipo Sylva, 23, has since been charged with second degree murder for the fatal stabbing of Eduardo Alejandro Cerezo, 35 of Makawao.

According to a declaration filed by Maui Police, Cerezo boarded the Maui Bus #40 at around 2 p.m. from the stop fronting the Pukalani Community Center. A witness told police that Cerezo noticed Sylva seated at the front of the bus and that Cerezo got upset that Sylva was staring at him. The witness told police that Cerezo “taunted Sylva the entire ride.”

When the bus arrived at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center in Kahului, Sylva challenged Cerezo to a fight, but Cerezo declined and walked away, according to the document. Sylva then followed Cerezo into the upstairs men’s restroom outside of the Men’s Macy’s store on the second floor of the shopping center, according to the declaration.

According to court documents, a witness told police that Sylva then held a black colored machete in his right hand and told Cerezo, “You’re not talking any s*** now?” The witness told police that Cerezo said he had no problem with Sylva; and Cerezo told Sylva that he had a family, according to court records.

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According to the witness report to police, Sylva then told Cerezo, “I was sent to end you,” and raised the machete, swinging it at the victim.

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A separate witness, who was in a restroom stall told police that he heard two males in an argument. The witness told police that he heard one of the male’s say, “unfortunately, I’ve been sent here to end you.” According to the witness, the same male continued talking and also said, “I’ve been sending demons to the moon.” When the witness exited the stall, he was standing about 2 to 3 feet behind Sylva and observed the suspect swing the machete towards Cerezo and described what he said, “sounded like a water balloon dropping on the floor.”

The witness told police that Sylva placed the machete into his backpack and said, “believe it or not, it was a demon,” before walking out of the restroom. In the declaration, police say Cerezo fell to the ground immediately and blood was observed everywhere.

Police were called to the scene at approximately 3:12 p.m.

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Both witnesses from the restroom identified Sylva via photo line-up on Sunday afternoon.

Police canvassed the Kahului area and located Sylva at the south east corner/fence-line of the Kahului Community Center Park in an area bordering the property with Hale Mahaolu ʻElua.

Sylva was placed under arrest at 4:24 p.m. on March 18, 2018. The following morning at 10:15 a.m. on March 19, 2018 Sylva was advised of his Constitutional Rights. Police say he waived them, and provided a voluntary statement.

According to a declaration, police say Sylva admitted to killing Cerezo with a machete “because he was a demon.” Court documents indicate that Sylva provided law enforcement the location of the machete. Police say the weapon was recovered in the dirt/brush area along the tennis courts of the Kahului Community Center Park.

Sylva is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. A preliminary hearing has been set for Thursday, March 22, 2018.

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