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Samoan mother mourns Auckland shooting victim Tupuga Sipiliano

The mother of a man killed in an Auckland shooting last week says he was a person full of love.

Wattle Downs resident Tupuga Sipiliano, 44, and Manurewa resident Solomona To'oto'o, 45, were gunned down by their 24-year-old co-worker Matu Reid on Thursday morning. Police yesterday confirmed Reid, who lived in Flat Bush, also fatally shot himself.

Mena Sipiliano told Samoan radio station Talofa FM her eldest son, Tupuga, had been living in New Zealand for 23 years.

She said the builder had a loving heart and sent her photos from the different places he worked.

She said she wanted her son's body taken back to Samoa so he could be buried next to his father, but authorities here advised her it was not possible and that she should travel to New Zealand instead.

Mena Sipiliano is expected to arrive from Samoa in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile the local Samoan community also continues to grieve.

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Apulu Autagavaia said there was a lot of sorrow.

"A lot of people are very sad and want to comfort the families in particular. I know there have been different churches and community groups that are working to come around those families."

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Apulu Reece Autagavaia - single use only

Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Apulu Autagavaia. Photo: LDR / Supplied / Auckland Council

The community was also questioning why two of its members were targeted in the shooting, he said, particularly from the cultural lens of 'va'.

"As Samoans, we really have a concept of the 'va', or the relationship between people," Autagavaia said.

"At the moment, it's the community trying to come around the family that are mourning, but I think the wider question around how come the shooter did what he did to these poor Samoans is another type of relationship that needs to be looked at.

"We'd love to, as a wider Samoan community, to ensure that this doesn't happen to any other family again, so those sort of questions will need to be dealt with.

"In due time, but nonetheless those are relationships that need to be looked after."

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