Police reassure Vaitele residents after shooting incident
The Ministry of Police is calling on Vaitele-uta residents not to panic, saying the Police have everything under control. This follows a gun shooting incident in Vaitele-uta which has caused anxiety to residents in the area.
To date, three men have been arrested from the incident.
This was confirmed by Assistant Police Commissioner, Sala’a Moanananu Sala’a, in response to Samoa Observer questions. He explained a fight had broken out between three men and one other man.
“It escalated and a gun or guns were fired; fortunately no one was injured."
“We have arrested three men, and we took a weapon as evidence. "
“However the Police are continuing investigations into the matter, and it’s unclear if this was the one weapon that was used."
“We also don’t know if there were more guns,” said Sala’a.
He confirmed the gun that has been taken in is unlicensed and illegal in Samoa.
The Assistant Commissioner said the Police have been patrolling the area night and day to assure residents they are always nearby and will respond right away if another incident occurs.
“The problem with this area is that it’s privately-owned land and all sorts of people are living here. “But I want to make it clear the Police do not tolerate this type of behaviour.
“Putting fear into residents by discharging ammunition into the air is unacceptable and the police will get to the bottom of this,” promised Sala’a.
Several residents of Vaitele-uta told the Samoa Observer how scared their families were when the incident occurred.
“It’s like what you see in the movies, where there’s gun shootings,” said one woman. “I don't feel safe here.”
Sala’a suggested that where possible, residents should remain indoors at night, until the matter is resolved.
“Don’t panic, the Police in Faleata are nearby and they have been patrolling this area.
“I want the residents to be aware the Police are there to serve and protect them, we are only a call away,” said Sala’a. “In the meantime the three men have been criminally charged and are held under Police custody.
“They are charged with throwing objects, unlawful possession of a firearm and assault.
“More charges may be added once the Police complete their investigations,” said Sala’a.