29 Oct 2012

NZ boy shot dead in Samoa

9:59 am on 29 October 2012

A boy who was visiting Samoa from New Zealand with his mother has been fatally shot by his cousin.

AAP reports the boys, aged five and eight, were with shooting pigeons and collecting coconuts their uncle when the incident happened near the village of Samamea on the island of Upolu on Wednesday night (local time).

Pita Leausa, the father of the older boy, told the Samoa Observer that a loaded gun had been left under a tree and the boys were fighting over it when the younger of the pair was shot in the face.

"My brother turned away for less than a minute, then the next minute he heard a gunshot," Mr Leausa said.

AAP reports the boy has been in police custody since the incident. The Samoa Observer reported he could be charged with murder.

His uncle who owns the gun has also been questioned by police.

The dead boy, who has not been named, was visiting for White Sunday, a holiday celebrating children.