Paddlers Inn Owner Slain in Florida

Local employees still reeling from the loss.

Paddlers Inn owner Robert Spruiell, known on Molokai as Kamuela Kamakana, hoped to eventually call the Friendly Isle home.

Robert Spruiell, owner of Paddlers Inn in Kaunakakai, was found dead with stab wounds this past Saturday in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida during an altercation at the Golden Nugget Hotel. The incident left two other men injured.

According to a Paddlers spokesperson, an employee of Spruiell’s mainland magazine sales business had asked the owner for help confronting a suspected drug dealer. The spokesperson said Spruiell was stabbed along with other individuals.

On Molokai, Spruiell went by his family name, Kamuela Kamakana. And it is the Friendly Isle’s sense of family that led Spruiell to buy Paddlers Inn eight months ago.

“I really want it to be more like a family oriented place where families can enjoy their meals together,” said Spruiell in an interview this past January.

Five years ago, Spruiell was visiting Maui when he decided to catch the Molokai Ferry and see the island for the first time. He said he felt an emotional connection with Molokai and bought property after just one day of visiting.

“His own words were that he loved Molokai so much that he wanted to make Molokai his home,” said Paddlers Manager Alisha Montemayor. She added that his last wishes were for his ashes to be spread on-island.

Spruiell’s mother, Haunani Kamakana, is a Molokai girl, who lives in Washington State. He said he had planned to move her back to the island after getting himself settled.

Representatives from Kamuela Estates, Inc. have said business at Paddlers Inn to continue on as usual.

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