News Crime Nine boys, two men charged with teenager’s murder

Nine boys, two men charged with teenager’s murder

teen melbourne stabbing
Solomone Taufeulungaki was stabbed to death outside a Melbourne shopping centre. Photo: Supplied
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Homicide Squad detectives have charged 11 people with murder following the death of teenager Solomone Taufeulungaki in Deer Park, in Melbourne’s west, earlier in 2020.

Solomone, 15, who was known to his friends as Solo, was stabbed to death outside Brimbank Shopping Centre on June 16.

Emergency services were called. However, he died at the scene.

The 11 people charged on Thursday were previously charged with other offences, including violent disorder and affray, in relation to the incident. However those charges have since been upgraded to murder, police said in a statement.

Police said those charged included:

  • A 15-year-old St Albans boy
  • A 14-year-old St Albans boy
  • A 13-year-old St Albans boy
  • A 15-year-old Burnside Heights boy
  • A 16-year-old St Albans boy
  • A 16-year-old St Albans boy
  • A 13-year-old Hoppers Crossing boy
  • A 17-year-old St Albans boy
  • A 16-year-old Kings Park boy

A 23-year-old Hoppers Crossing man and a 20-year-old Sunshine man, who are both at a correctional facility, have also been charged with murder, police said.

The nine boys will appear at a children’s court in December.

The two men will face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on November 25.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said the charges were a testament to the force’s focus on holding youth gangs to account.

“It’s critical that people involved in those gangs understand that police, whether it be investigators from the homicide or gang crime squads, right through to local police, will ensure all the associated criminality is thoroughly investigated,” he said in a statement.

Mourners leave flowers at the scene where Solomone Taufeulungaki died in June.

Solomone’s parents have offered their love and forgiveness to those accused of attacking their boy.

Days after he was killed, hundreds of friends, community members and elders of Melbourne’s Tongan community gathered at the site where he died, leaving flowers to commemorate him.

Groups of classmates performed a traditional Tongan dance and sang hymns as they walked from their school to the site of the violence, under tall gum trees.

Elders from Melbourne’s Pasifika community then held a vigil to bless the site where Solomone died, releasing dozens of white balloons.