Nearly 100 worshipers spilled into the courtyard Saturday afternoon at the Samoa Tokelau Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Honolulu, beginning the celebration of a mass baptism that had just taken place inside.
Among them was Tali Talitonu, a 59-year-old man who had just been christened himself.
Children scattered. People chatted. Then, a gunshot.
The bullet struck Talitonu, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported, hitting him in the back as he stood by a second-floor classroom above the courtyard. Almost immediately, a church elder tracked down the alleged shooter, grabbing the hand of the woman holding the gun and pointing it away from Talitonu and the crowd, according to the newspaper.
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Witnesses to the shooting praised the quick response of the elder, identified by multiple news reports as 57-year-old Tony Williams.
“It was almost like superhero,” Sam Tapuolo, who was also baptized Saturday, told ABC affiliate KITV 4 News. “Something out of the movies.”
Talitonu was taken to a local hospital in stable condition.
Violesolo Tavita, 59, was arrested soon after the shooting and later charged with second-degree attempted murder and two weapons charges, the Star-Advertiser reported. Her bail was set at $250,000. There were no media reports of Tavita commenting on the charges against her and no reports that she is represented by a lawyer at this point. Full story