Man Shot after Being Baptized at Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Veronica Neffinger | Editor, | Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Man Shot after Being Baptized at Seventh-Day Adventist Church

A man has been shot after being baptized in a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Kalihi, Honolulu, according to


The victim of the shooting is 59-year-old Tali Talitonu who was baptized at the Samoa Tokelau Seventh-Day Adventist Church along with his wife and others.


Shortly after the baptismal service, Talitonu was shot in the back by female suspect Violesolo Tavita.


Taleni Asuega, the victim’s nephew, said he heard a gunshot near a second-floor classroom.


Church members, including some children, rushed into the courtyard after the shooting. Church elder Tony Williams bravely grabbed the gun from the shooter, preventing further injuries.


“As soon as I heard the bang, I turned around and he already had her," said Sam Tapuolo, a church member. "The church (service) had just ended, so everybody was coming out. Anybody could have been hit." 


Talitonu was taken to a hospital to be treated for his wounds. Tavita was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. A motive for the shooting has not been released.


"At first, kind of shocking 'cause out of all places, you know, it's at church," said Tapuolo. "Our love goes out to the victim and also to the person that caused this. All we can do is continue to pray for them."


The church released a statement, saying that they have resumed normal activities: "We are grateful that there was no loss of life and thankful for the swift action by church members and law enforcement to quickly handle the matter. The Church has resumed normal services and activities. We are praying for healing for all those involved in this incident.”



Publication date: May 17, 2016