Holiday Tragedy: Young Daughter Witnesses Mother’s Death

HONOLULU  – A tragic incident unfolded in a parking lot near Pearlridge Center on Friday morning as a man fatally shot his estranged wife, causing panic among customers and employees. The suspect, identified as Jason Cachuela, 44, was later found dead, believed to have taken his own life.

The victim, Theresa Cachuela, 33, a social media influencer and mother of three, met with a heartbreaking end just days before Christmas. The victim’s family revealed that her young daughter witnessed the shooting, emphasizing the grave dangers associated with domestic violence.

Just moments before the shooting occurred, Theresa spoke to her mother, Lucita Aninihoa, expressing her intention to meet for some last-minute Christmas shopping at the mall. Heartbroken, Aninihoa shared the last words she had heard from her daughter: “I’m on my way. Got traffic.”

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has classified the case as first-degree murder due to the suspect’s violation of a temporary restraining order filed by Theresa and his refusal to surrender his weapons. According to family members, Jason was the victim’s husband, and the couple had been experiencing marital issues.

The shooting took place around 10:15 a.m., just as the parking lot was beginning to fill with shoppers hoping to complete their Christmas purchases. Witness Danny Earles told of the chilling sound of gunfire, which was accompanied by multiple shots and a reload. In a state of panic, Earles sought cover behind a cement column and eventually fled the scene.

Upon responding to the incident, law enforcement swiftly placed Pali Momi Medical Center on lockdown for over an hour. HPD Lt. Deena Thoemmes confirmed the victim’s death at the scene, indicating that the victim had been fatally shot in the head. A manhunt ensued, leading to the discovery of Jason’s lifeless body at approximately 1:40 p.m. behind a residence in Waipahu, where a large police presence had gathered.

Aninihoa revealed that Theresa had recently sought a temporary restraining order against Jason due to harassment and stalking, expressing her desire to leave him. Her pleas for help from law enforcement were unanswered, casting a dark shadow over their role.