Samoa matai survives gunshot

A matai from the villages of Falelatai and Iva, Savai’i, was lucky to survive a gunshot on Monday last week at Vailele.Lupesmatasila Tofilau Nanai Misa Ivara, 52 years old, was shot by someone he refers to as a “brother.”During an interview with the Samoa Observer yesterday, Lupematasila was thankful he is still alive.He says he lives with the accused man who is, Tofele Lata Tavui, of Vailele.According to Lupematasila, the incident was unexpected. He said he does not understand why Tofele would want to shoot him.“Every day around evening, we would sit down (on the porch) and talk while he has drinks,” said Lupematasila.He said they were talking outside with Tofele and his wife that evening as they would everyday.“At around 10.30 o’clock (at night) I decided to have an early night after dinner and went in my room,” said Lupematasila.“That night, I called my son (in Pago) and talked for like half an hour and after that, I called my wife (in New Zealand).“I was logging on the computer to check my facebook page, when someone opened the door and when I turned around it was Tofele.“He said to me, I’m going to shoot you. I asked him why he would want to do that but his reply was it’s time to shoot you, then he popped the gun.”After Lupematasila was shot, he knew he was injured and needed help right away.He said that after he was shot in the chest, Tofele left the house and went looking for more bullets.Feeling as though he may lose consciousness, Lupematasila walked outside where he came across Tofele who tried to hit him with the gun “but I blocked it with my hand”.According to Lupematasila, his “friend” was trying to load the gun outside as he continued to walk down the road looking for help.When he reached the main road in front of a shop at Vailele, he stopped a taxi.“I told the taxi driver that I had just been shot and asked if he could rush me to the hospital before something happened,” said Lupematasila.“When I got to the hospital, I walked up to a nurse and told her that I’d got shot and needed help and they were quick to assist me and examine my injury.“They haven’t removed the bullet; I still have it in me. I was told that I would lose a lot of blood if I went through an operation and it was best to leave it in there because it doesn’t really affect my organs.”After two days at the hospital, Lupematasila was discharged.Asked about his relationship with Tofele and what might have caused him to react the way he did, Lupematasila said they didn’t have a fight.

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