Acts of aloha after deadly mass shooting in Hawaii’s ‘Ninth Island’

AP Photo/John Locher


Flags in Hawaii and across the country are flying at half-staff to honor the victims in a mass shooting in Las Vegas.

They will stay at half-staff until sunset on Oct. 6.

At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 injured when a gunman opened fire on an outdoor country music festival.

Officials are calling it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

“I am shocked and terribly saddened by the news of an unbelievable act of mass murder in Las Vegas. We call it The Ninth Island because we have so many family and friends living there, and most of us have visited for entertainment or for business. Today we grieve with those who have lost loved ones and pray for the injured,” said Gov. Ige.

“Today, our hearts are with the people affected by this tragedy, and with all of Las Vegas. But warm words are not enough. Thoughts and prayers won’t stop this from happening again. It’s time for Congress to finally stand up against gun violence and take action so this never happens again,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D, Hawaii.

Mililani resident Ryan Rego was watching the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show “One.” He says the theater was locked down for several hours after the shooting started.

“There were times where we all had to go on the ground, because somebody was trying to get into the doors, and we all had to lay on the ground. Somebody was pushing the doors and it was locked. The cops, we were all inside (the theater),” he said.

Rego says by the time everyone was allowed to leave the theater, it was 5 a.m. He had just enough time to pack for his flight back home.

We reached out to several Hawaii companies that do business in Las Vegas.

There are 15 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue locations in the area. Chief operating officer Bryan Andaya says one employee was at the concert, and was injured from being trampled.

Andaya says his injuries were not serious, and he was not hospitalized.

Hawaiian Airlines at LAS

Hawaiian Airlines says all Las Vegas operations and in-flight employees were safe and accounted for.

Some flights, however, experienced brief delays due to Sunday night’s temporary closure of the city’s McCarran International Airport following the shooting.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 17 incurred a 35-minute delay and arrived at 5:29 a.m. Monday. Flight 7 also incurred a 30-minute departure delay and departed LAS at 10:01 a.m. Monday.

Honolulu resident Cliff Harata was on that flight.

“We thought there was an accident actually, and the northbound traffic, they had stopped all the traffic I would say west of the Mandalay. All major thoroughfares, I guess they were blocked off, and the off-ramps were also being shutdown,” Harata said. “We are just fortunate it wasn’t in our area. It’s kind of crazy.”

Utah residents Micah and Chelsea Harward said, “It was unusual (on the Interstate). There was a SWAT team guy out there setting up cones. We thought that was interesting. He was in his full gear and everything. There was a lot of ambulances and you can tell something big was going on. There were some people just running down the street and kind of walking and kind of looking behind them, just, you can kind of tell they were all really nervous.”

The airline also has Flight 8 departing HNL for LAS at 3:10 p.m. and Flight 18 departing HNL at 10:45 p.m. Monday.

Effective immediately, guests holding tickets for travel on Hawaiian Airlines flights to/from/via Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) between Oct. 2, 2017, and Oct. 3, 2017, will be permitted a one-time reservation change with waiver of change fee provided that:

  • Ticket was issued on/before October 2, 2017,
  • Affected flight(s) is/are originally scheduled for travel between October 2, 2017 and October 3, 2017, and
  • Changes must be made and reticketed for new flights no later than October 7, 2017.

In addition, for changes made on or before Oct. 7, 2017, to new flights, any resulting difference in fare(s) will be waived provided that change is made to the same compartment (i.e. Coach to Coach or First/Business Class to First/Business Class) and there is no change in origin and destination. For changes made to new flights on any other dates, the change fee will be waived but applicable difference in fare will be collected.

Changes to origin and/or destination or connecting/stopover point will be permitted without change fee and are subject to applicable fare difference.

Normal refund rules will apply. There will be no waiver of any applicable cancellation fees for refundable tickets and no refunds permitted on non-refundable tickets related to this event.

For tickets purchased through a travel agent, changes may be made through your travel agent, or by calling our Reservations Department at 1-800-367-5320.

Acts of aloha

Despite the tragedy, there are some acts of aloha in the Ninth Island.

Many hotels are offering free rooms to the families of shooting victims.

Boyd Gaming Group, which owns the California, Main Street Station, and Fremont hotel and casinos, is among them.

“We’re also aware that we have a lot of people who are in town visiting us who are also dealing with a lot of stress, and as their host, we want to help them try and be as comfortable as possible and take care of them while they’re with us,” said spokesman David Strow.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air is offering free travel to families of victims.

The airline posted a message on its Facebook page offering assistance to those who were affected by the tragedy and need to fly into or out of the city.

Families need to email the airline at communications@allegiantair.com with the route they’re looking to fly and explain why to make arrangements.

The airline will also reaccommodate Las Vegas travelers upon request without change fees throughout the week. For assistance, contact Customer Care at 702-505-8888.

The importance of giving blood

Las Vegas officials said during a press conference Monday morning that they desperately needed blood, and people responded en masse.

Some waited in line for as long as eight hours to donate.

According to Kim-Anh Nguyen, president and CEO of the Blood Bank of Hawaii, Hawaii is experiencing a shortage of blood right now, and if disaster were to strike, we’d be in trouble.

“The closest neighbor in blood centers is 5,000 miles away and every day we need 200 people to roll up their sleeves, and that’s just to meet our regular needs,” she said. “I’m not even talking about a disaster, because remember when that disaster happens, it’s the blood here right behind me on the shelves tested and ready to go. It’s really going to help those people out.”

Nguyen says the best way to give blood is to go online and make an appointment, or call the blood bank’s donation hotline at 848-4770 to set up a time.

Click here for more information.

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