Family, friends say goodbyes to Ōtāhuhu shooting victim ‘Aleki Moala as accused appear in court

    A Tongan man who lived in Papatoetoe, New Zealand and who was gunned down at Beatty Street, Ōtāhuhu Sunday 23 was laid to rest today Saturday 29 at the Manukau Memorial Gardens.

    ‘Aleki Moala (inset)

    Two men , aged 26 and 28, charged with his murder have made separate appearances yesterday Friday 28 at the Manukau District Court.

    Police were called to the house before ‘Aleki (Alec) Junior Moala, 31, was found with critical injuries and died at the scene.

    Family and friends expressed their frustration during the farewell service today.

    Many spoke about how they found it hard to see their loved one dying in such a brutal and violent way.

    A church minister told mourners that having patience and pardoning each other is paramount.

    “Let God rule in our life,” the church minister said in Tongan.

    During the service which was also livestreamed on Facebook a man appeared and spoke via video link.

    He was said to be one of Aleki’s brothers who is currently in one of the prisons here in New Zealand.

    The deceased’s father told Herald his son died after he possibly went to help a woman who was being attacked.

    Naeata Moala said he was not angry and believed his son died for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    He also said several other stories were circulating, and it was difficult to know what to believe.

    Neighbours described hearing three loud bangs about 2.15am Sunday 23.

    “There were two quick shots, one after the other, then quiet, then another loud bang. Then we heard the screaming,” Si Allen, who lives on an intersecting street, said at the time, Stuff reported.

    “I tried to tell myself it was just a car backfiring, but my wife said ‘no, those were gunshots’. So we just hid inside.”

    He said it was “pretty scary” an incident like this could occur so close by.

    Other residents speculated the killing was gang-related but they were unable to provide proof of this, the Herald reported.

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