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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Release Date: February 21, 2009

Shooting Investigation

On February 21, 2009 at approximately 03:23 A.M., East Palo Alto Police Officers received information from medical staff at a local hospital emergency room that a gunshot victim arrived for medical treatment. Police Officers responded to the emergency room and contacted the gunshot victim, identified as, Lutoviko Tausinga, a 22 year old East Palo Alto resident.

A preliminary investigation into the shooting only revealed vague details of the incident, details that were relayed from the victim to Police Officers, which lead police officers to believe that the shooting didn't occur within East Palo Alto city limits. The shooting allegedly occurred approximately one hour prior to Tausinga arriving at the emergency room hospital for treatment. Police Officers suspicions that the shooting incident didn't occur in East Palo Alto were reasonable because at the time that the alleged shooting occurred, there were no citizen reports of gunfire, and the ShotSpotter System was on-line and functioning properly, which would have activated and alerted officers of gunfire.

The only information that Police Officers were able to obtain from Tausinga was that the shooting incident occurred on the 2500 block of Annapolis Avenue and the suspect(s) were driving a black four door sedan. Having that information, other Police Officers responded to the 2500 block of Annapolis Avenue in an attempt to locate a possible crime scene and also to contact some possible witnesses to the shooting that Tausinga said occurred there. After checking the area and contacting several citizens, Police Officers couldn't locate a crime scene and the citizens with whom the officers spoke with said they didn't hear or see anything related to a shooting in the area.

Later, at approximately 05:08 A.M., at the request of the Mountain View Police Department, Police Officers were sent to the 2500 block of Annapolis Avenue to check the area for vehicles that were seen leaving the scene of a public disturbance in Mountain View city limits. This particular incident in Mountain View occurred hours earlier and their investigation revealed that the vehicles and occupants leaving the area possibly frequented the 2500 block of Annapolis Avenue.

Again, East Palo Alto Police Officers responded to the 2500 block of Annapolis Avenue to check for vehicles that were involved with their incident. Police Officers weren't able to locate any of the vehicles that the Mountain View Police Department was interested in.

At approximately 10:30 A.M., Officer R. Tuason and Officer J. Norden of the East Palo Alto Police Department stopped a vehicle which matched the description that the Mountain View Police Department was searching for earlier this morning. Through Officer Tuason and Norden's preliminary investigation during the traffic stop, it was revealed that the driver was in possession of a handgun. The driver, identified as, Tuutakihihifo Tuipulotu, a 20 year old East Palo Alto resident, was subsequently arrested for the possession of a handgun. After Tuipulotu was arrested, Police Officers discovered that Tuipulotu is Tausinga's cousin.

The Mountain View Police Department was informed of the arrest made from a vehicle that was possibly involved with their incident earlier this morning. The Mountain View Police Department dispatched detectives and officers to East Palo Alto, and Tuipulotu was taken into custody by the Mountain View Police Department for questioning about their incident.

Detectives from the East Palo Alto Police Department Criminal Investigations Division are actively investigating this matter and are attempting to develop leads and a motive.

Detectives from the East Palo Alto Police Department Criminal Investigations Division are also actively seeking witnesses who may have seen the crime.

Anyone who may have witnessed or has any knowledge about the crime is urged to call:

Detective David C. Carson 650-853-5957

East Palo Alto Police Dispatch 650-321-1112

The East Palo Alto Tip Line 650-853-8477

Prepared by:

Detective David Carson