Woman charged after allegedly shooting man in back at Kalihi church

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A 59-year-old woman has been charged for attempted murder in the second degree in connection with a shooting at a Kalihi church that injured a 60-year-old man Saturday.

It happened on Banyan Street at the Samoa-Tokelau Seventh-day Adventist Church around 1:04 p.m.

Violesolo Tavita appeared in court Monday. According to court documents, Tavita pulled a handgun from her purse and shot the victim, identified as Talaiga Talitoniu, in the back.

Talitoniu was hospitalized in stable condition.

Family members of the victim said the two knew each other.

One witness at the scene of the shooting, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “After church, my uncle, the victim, him and his wife recently got baptized. So I was just walking into church, and all of a sudden, we just heard a loud boom, and I already know it wasn’t a firework, you know? I already knew it was a gunshot. So I turned to the left and was on the second floor right there the top left, and had a lot of church members detaining the suspect.”

“At first, kind of shocking ’cause out of all places, you know, it’s at church,” said witness Sam 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.”

Tavita was also charged with two firearms offenses, including place to keep a firearm and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. According to court documents, the 9mm Beretta was registered to Tavita.

She will have a preliminary hearing on Wednesday. Her bail has been set at $250,000.

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