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TAXI DRIVER IN SAMOA GUNNED DOWN BY PASSENGER

The EPC cash power outlet at Vaitele where taxi driver Ete Ete was killed by a passenger with a handgun. [photo: Naenae Productions]

(APIA, SAMOA) — A 28-year-old taxi driver was gunned down by a passenger with a handgun late Tuesday night after 11 p.m. (Samoa Time) in front of the EPC cash power vending outlet at Vaitele.

According to other drivers of the 57 Taxi Stand at Moto’otua opposite the national hospital where he worked, Ete Ete of Pesega & Taga had been working that night and his older brother from overseas who was visiting, had been with him.

According to Ete’s older brother, the survivor of the incident, after 11pm the brothers decided to call it a night and were heading to Pesega, where Ete was living with their mother and younger siblings, when they were flagged down by a passenger at Malifa — a young man in his 20’s, who said he wanted to go to the EPC cash power vending outlet at Vaitele to buy cash power.

When they got to Vaitele, Ete stopped the car in front of the EPC office while the passenger who had been sitting in the back seat got out.

However, instead of pulling out his wallet, the passenger pulled out a handgun and told Ete to get out of the car. Seeing the gun, Ete obeyed him and got out of the car and the passenger told him to walk forward slowly.

According to Ete’s older brother, he had just taken his third or fourth step when the gun went off and he saw his brother collapse.

After shooting Ete in the back of the head, the passenger then turned the gun on his older brother who was still inside the car, but for some reason, the gun failed to go off.

Seeing this, the older brother jumped out of the car and threw his mobile phone at the gunman before he tried to wrest the gun out of his hands. They struggled, until the gun fell to the ground and the gunman fled the scene.

The older brother tried to pursue him but the gunman had gotten away. He then called for help.

In an interview with local media, the father of the slain taxi driver, Faiumu Ete, said he was notified of the incident this morning and had traveled from Taga in Savaii where he lives with his older children.

With tears in his eyes, he said he did not know why anyone would want to harm his son who was a quiet-spoken lad and that he had forgiven whoever had killed him.

Police are still looking for the gunman and have asked the assistance of the public in finding him.



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