The Straits Times
Published on Oct 29, 2012

Samoan 8-year-old shoots younger cousin dead


WELLINGTON (AFP) - A five-year-old New Zealand boy was shot dead by his eight-year-old cousin in Samoa as they tussled over a rifle during a hunting trip, it was reported on Monday.

The Samoa Observer said the the boy was visiting Samoa for a religious festival when his uncle took him and his cousin on a pigeon shooting expedition in a remote coastal area of the South Pacific nation. It said the uncle left the loaded rifle under a tree while searching for a stick to carry coconuts and the boys fought over the weapon, resulting in the five year old being shot in the face.

"My brother turned away for less than a minute then the next minute he heard a gunshot," the dead boy's father Mr Pita Leausa told the newspaper. "The children were fighting over the gun when it happened." Fairfax New Zealand identified the dead boy as James May.

Television New Zealand said the surviving boy would not be charged over the death but police were questioning the uncle and considering prosecution for unspecified offences.