23 Jul 2010

American Samoa policeman shot dead outside High Court

3:41 pm on 23 July 2010

An American Samoan policeman has been shot dead outside the High Court.

The incident took place just after Solomona Samatua was found not guilty on assault and weapons charges this afternoon.

The alleged shooter was a member of the defendant's family.

The dead policeman was Detective Lusila Brown who had been on the force for almost 20 years.

A news reporter for local radio station KHJ News, La Poasa, describes hearing shots as she was leaving the court building.

"One of these Iaumau's [ the convicted man's extended family] shot long time veteran police detective Lusila Brown right in front of the side walk in front of the courtroom. He shot him several times and the shooter just kept screaming profanities at him while he was already on the ground, and said this is what you get for messing with these Iaumau families. A lot of police officers were here but I don't know what took so long for them to come out and assist. There were five or six police officers who were finally able to get the gun away from the shooter. It's a very sad, tragic story and I'm still looking at Lieutenant Detective Brown's body. They're finally able to cover his body with a couple of materials here."