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American Samoa officer shot outside court building

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:41 a.m. HST, Jul 24, 2010

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa -- A veteran police officer in American Samoa was fatally shot late Thursday afternoon outside the temporary High Court building.

Police Commissioner Tuaolo M. Fruean identified the officer as Det. Lt. Lusila Brown, 44.

"No one wants to go through this," said Fruean, a retired associate judge of the High Court.

Brown was a good father and an excellent officer of the law, Fruean said.

The suspected shooter has been taken into custody and the investigation is ongoing, he said.

Samoa News and a local radio station identified the suspect as Siaumau Siaumau Jr. Samoa News also reported that the detective was among the officers providing security at a court hearing.

A police official said another officer was injured during the shooting and was taken to the LBJ Medical Center but the injuries were not life threatening.

More than 100 members of Brown's family and police officers were at the hospital early Thursday evening to join Fruean for a brief prayer service for the officer. Brown was a father of two who had served with the police force for about 16 years.

It was the first time in more than 15 years that a police officer in the U.S. territory was killed in the line of duty. The last was when an officer drowned after saving a teenager from rough seas. Officials in Pago Pago could not recall the last time an officer was shot.


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