News Coronavirus Family of stabbed teenager forgives his killers

Family of stabbed teenager forgives his killers

melbourne teen stabbing family
Police at the scene of 15-year-old Solo Taufeulungaki's death on Tuesday night. Photo: AAP
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The family of a teenager stabbed to death near his church in Melbourne has forgiven his killers.

Solo Taufeulungaki has been named as the 15-year-old stabbed in Deer Park outside Brimbank Shopping Centre on Tuesday night.

Six youths have been charged over his death in Melbourne’s west.

The boys, aged 13 to 16, have been charged with violent disorder and affray after the incident and will face court soon.

Solo was killed near his place of worship – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – his dad said at the scene on Wednesday.

“He pass away but my heart … for my heavenly father. That’s his plan,” his father, Atunaisa, said.

“Every Sunday, my son come to this church. I believe may be every Sunday his spirit join with us in this true church, every Sunday.”

Solo’s grief-stricken family laid yellow and blue flowers on Wednesday at the site where he died.

His mother, Salome Taufeulungaki, said the family forgave those who took her son’s life.

“We bless them,” she said after leaving flowers at the scene, the Herald Sun said.

“We don’t want justice, we just want peace for our son.”

melbourne school boy stab death
Solo Taufeulungaki died just down the road from his family’s church. Photo: AAP

Solo’s aunt, Siualone Taufeulungaki, also told the paper: “We forgive what they do.”

The teenager was killed when a group of eight to 10 men approached him on Tuesday afternoon.

Witnesses told Nine News the group had knives up their sleeves and stabbed the teen “multiple times” in the chest and stomach.

The group ran away, but six were arrested on nearby Billingham Road a short time later. They are yet to be charged.

“He’s a good kid, he goes to church. He comes from a good family, a humble family. It’s just so unfortunate this has happened to him,” family friend Foa Galuega said.

Another person, Tatyana Taufa, paid tribute to the teenager, re-posting the news story to their social media with the comment:

“RIL LIL TOKO . My deepest condolences go out to the Taufeulungaki Family . #FlyHighSolo [?]”

The brawl and subsequent stabbing are believed to have been sparked by an argument on social media, Nine reported.

Hours later, a fight broke out at the scene between about 30 people.

Footage of the second brawl posted on social media shows people running into the taped-off crime scene.

A person can be heard in the footage shouting “I’ll kill you”, while bystanders yell “Stop”.

Three men were arrested over the second fight.

A police officer was taken to hospital and another man was treated for a cut to the head.

Nine people were in custody over the two incidents.

But the trio involved in the brawl have since been released.

A 15-year-old Sunshine youth and a 17-year-old Point Cook male were released pending summons for assault-related offences, police said.

A 15-year-old Hoppers Crossing boy was also interviewed and released.

Homicide detectives are investigating.