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Freeway shooting victims testify in murder trial

By Cam Tran
Published On: May 07 2013 05:35:35 PM HST
Updated On: May 07 2013 05:58:25 PM HST

A Hawaii woman takes the stand in court and describes the sheer desperation that left her running across the H-1 Freeway and jumping off the overpass.

HONOLULU -

A woman takes the stand in court and describes the sheer desperation that left her running across the H-1 Freeway and jumping off the overpass.

This was the second day of gripping testimony in the trial of Toby Stangel.

"I heard bap, bap, bap!  Then, I was like, 'Whoa, what's going on?'" said witness Apelu Patu.

He remembers the sounds vividly.  Patu was driving home on the H-1 Freeway Ewa-bound when prosecutors say Stangel shot at Amie Lou Asuncion near the Houghtailing Street off-rmap in June 2011.

Stangel is on trial this week for shooting seven people and killing one.

"I heard that first gunshot.  Two cars went from the middle to right lane.  Then, I heard three more," said Patu.

Asuncion was shot in the back.  She pulled to the side of the freeway and attempted to stop a driver for help.  That's when she realized Stangel stopped too and was backing his car toward hers.

"There was one car that stopped a red car, but I didn't have a chance to talk to that person because when I looked back his car was already in front of my car," said Asuncion.  "So, I ran into the street into the other car, into the other side into the eastbound."

During her testimony in court Tuesday, the nursing assistant says Stangel continued to fire shots at her as she ran.  In a desperate attempt to get away, she jumped off the side of the freeway and then hid from the gunman.

"When I got up, I went to Honolulu Ford and hid in the plants in there.  I waited 20 to 30 minutes," said Asuncion.

After shooting at Asuncion, prosecutors  say Stangel shot at Samson Naupoto.  He had seen the woman running across the highway and was slowing down to help.

"When I put my feet on the gas, I heard a loud noise," said Naupoto.  "My feet was numb.  My left.  I didn't feel anything and I couldn't press the gas."

Naupoto began to faint.  By that time, Patu had turned around and come back to help.  On this day, he was able to identify the victim's sports utility vehicle, reluctantly.

"It hurts to look at the pictures.  I don't want to look at the pictures.  I just want to explain to you know what I know," said Patu.

Stangel's defense attorney admits his client shot at the victims, but says his client was insane at the time of the incident.

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