Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Jenni Roke as the boy’s mother. Family members say she is the boy’s aunt.
A McCully family is heartbroken and still trying to figure out what drove a man to kill a 4-year-old boy and stab a woman several times.
Relatives tell us that the suspect is an adopted brother of the woman, and the child was her nephew.
Honolulu police were called to their apartment on Lime Street just before 5 p.m. Monday. That’s where they arrested Waiser Walter, 26, for murder and attempted murder.
Flowers were placed outside the door of the victim’s family Tuesday.
Relatives identified the boy as Jeremiah Roke. Neighbors describe him as a happy child who was very friendly.
“We see them everyday and we love that boy,” said neighbor Teresa Pham. “Actually, they have two kids — one boy and one girl.”
Relatives say the girl is two years old, and was also in the apartment when the stabbing occurred. She was not harmed and is now staying with other relatives.
Neighbors are shocked that this happened. “Just broken heart, we’re both crying,” Pham said.
Relatives say the woman, Jenni Roke, lives in the apartment with her sister, the kids, and Walter.
Family members tell us she is recovering at Queen’s Medical Center, but she has a long way to go. They say she was stabbed 11 times.
Both neighbors and family members tell us that Walter has been having problems. They’ve seen him at night outside the apartment building screaming at no one in particular.
Neighbors say they have called the police before complaining about Walter. We asked the Honolulu Police Department how many times officers have responded to complaints about Walter, but a spokeswoman tells us that information is part of the investigation.
We also looked up court records and learned that Walter was arrested in March for disorderly conduct.
Records show he did not show up in court for that offense and bench warrant for his arrest was issued in April.