Families of slain men accept traditional apology

The families of two men slain in a New Year’s shooting have accepted a traditional apology from members of the family and village of the alleged perpetrator.

Held early in the early hours of Friday morning some 10 vehicles converged upon the village of Afega, transporting chiefs from Si’ufaga Falelatai for the traditional display of apology and request for forgiveness.

Proceedings were underway in the village at 5am. 

Family members of a man, Vaotu’ua Auleoleo Ne’emia also known as Pologa Ne’emia, accused of murdering two others sought forgiveness from the family of the deceased: Elisara Fata Lole and Fata Utufua.

Last week, Police Commissioner Fuiavailili told the Samoa Observer, that a low-calibre .22 millimetre handgun was used as the murder weapon in the incident. 

Fata Lole of Afega, the father of one of the deceased men, Elisara, told the Samoa Observer earlier this week that he believed the killing followed an incident of road rage in which the perpetrator was alleged to have been punched. 

The incident took place outside the family home, shortly after the clock had struck midnight to ring in the New Year. 

Fata said he believed his son's shooting was a case of mistaken identity and he would have been killed instead had he emerged from the family's home to greet the allegedly gun-toting Ne’emia. The alleged assailant has since been apprehended and criminally charged by the Police.

Police executed a search warrant on Tuesday at Ne’emia’s residence, using a search warrant to seize ammunition that matched the firearm used in the incident. 

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