UPDATE: Fatal shooting in Washington State
It has been nearly two weeks since a Samoan man in Federal Way, WA allegedly shot his girlfriend — also Samoan — to death.
Chris Tavita of Aoa has been charged with first degree manslaughter for the shooting death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Faavale Aiga Muipu of Aua, a 2013 graduate of Samoana High School.
According to news reports from the Evergreen State, King County prosecutors believe the young couple had been playing around with a Taser and a handgun, which they both thought was not loaded.
Muipu was shot in the face and killed by a round that remained in the handgun's chamber. Her death has been ruled by the King County Medical Examiner's Office as a homicide.
The shooting occurred at the Club Palisades apartment complex on South Star Lake Road.
Tavita remains in custody in lieu of $750,000 bail.
Initially, police were called to the scene to investigate a report that a woman had accidentally shot herself in the eye.
According to the Seattle Times, "Tavita allegedly convinced his younger sister and brother to tell police Muipu accidentally shot herself while spinning the gun around on her finger. His younger brother later called a detective and explained what really happened, prompting Tavita and his sister to do the same."
Afterwards, based on reports from Washington state, Tavita allegedly told detectives that his girlfriend had a Taser and playfully teased him with it, saying she was going to use it on him.
"He said that he would shoot her if she did," the Seattle Times reports.
The magazine had been removed from the handgun but a single round was already in the chamber and it struck Muipu in the face when Tavita pulled the trigger.
The gun, according to news reports, was recovered by police from a kitchen counter and the weapon allegedly belonged to Tavita's older sister's boyfriend.
Muipu was rushed to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries that same day. Sadly, she didn't make it.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jason Simmons, in the charging papers wrote, "This tragedy is a direct result of Tavita's willingness to engage in incredibly dangerous conduct and disregard the lethal consequences."
Samoa News has received — from family members — photos of Muipu during her final moments at the hospital, where she is surrounded by loved ones and family members saying their final farewells to someone they describe as a 'loving person' who always 'smiled' and was filled with 'positive' energy.
Messages of condolences for Muipu's family have flooded her Facebook page since the news of her passing earlier this month.