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Asa Yamashita, a literacy coordinator at Wai’anae High School, was stabbed at 1:30 p.m. on Friday while sitting on a bench at the crowded Ewa Town Center. She stumbled into a nearby nail salon where employees rendered aid. The victim was transported to Hawaii Medical Center West where she was pronounced dead, the result of multiple stab wounds to her upper torso.

Yamshita, 43, had just gotten her hair cut at Supercuts and was enjoying a snack in the mall courtyard while waiting for her friend to come and pick her up. Minutes before the assault, Tittleman Fauatea, 25, reportedly purchased an 8 inch long knife at Longs Drug in the Ewa Town Center complex. He then approached the woman and stabbed her several times. Described at 5’5″ and stocky, he then casually walked a short distance away, tossed the weapon into a trash bin and sat down.

According to Lt. Bill Kato of the Honolulu Police Department, the suspect was calmly smoking a cigarette when officers arrived on the scene. They took Fauatea into custody at 1:51 p.m. He is being held at the Kapolei Police station on a charge of second-degree murder. No word yet on a motive. He served a six day jail sentence in November 2008 for harassment.