The mother of a 5-year-old New Zealand boy shot dead while
fighting over a gun with her cousin in Samoa has spoken of
The child, named as James, was visiting family with his
mother for White Sunday, a Samoan holiday celebrating
children on October 14.
He was reportedly shot in the face by his 8-year-old cousin
while playing with a loaded gun which the cousin's father had
left under a tree in the village of Samamea, on the north
east coast of Samoa's Upolu island, 44km from Apia, on
"R.I.P to my lovely on my only son JAMES SEUGA
MAY...mommy& daddy miss u soo much son also your sisters
Karen May,Angela May,Linda May,Marion an Rochelle an your
only 1 brother Barry May...(sic)," the child's mother Mui May
posted on Facebook.
Explaining what happened to shocked friends she said: "my
cousins an friends my son passed away by shot gun....my other
older brother's step son shot JAMES on the face (sic)."
The cousin's father, Pita Leausa, said his brother, Ieti
Leausa, took his son and his nephew to shoot pigeons and
collect coconuts for dinner.
He left his loaded gun under a tree while he was looking for
leaves and sticks to help carry the coconuts.
"My brother turned away for less than a minute then the next
minute he heard a gunshot," Pita Leausa told the Weekend
"The children were fighting over the gun when it happened."
James was shot in the face and died at the scene.
Ieti Leausa carried his nephew's body home, and was taken by
police for questioning with the 8-year-old.
The Observer reported the boy could be charged with murder.