Tonga drug suspect shot during arrest

A 32-year old suspect is admitted at Vaiola Hospital in Nuku’alofa with gunshot injuries following a police raid for drugs at Hala’ovave early Sunday morning.

The suspect allegedly pulled out a 0.22 revolver to fire at officers who were conducting the raid.

According to Acting Deputy Police Commissioner, National Crime and Investigations, Halatoa Taufa, the suspect fired and missed and an officer in defence fired back causing injuries to the suspect.

The suspect surrendered himself and the gun.

He received injuries on his left arm and ribcage and is reported to be in a stable condition.

 A 24-year-old woman was also arrested and police seized methamphetamine, cannabis, drug utensils, a revolver, bullets and empty cartridges.

The raid was linked to the earlier arrest of three men in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A 17-year old, a 50 year old and a 47-year old man were stopped by police on Hihifo Road for breaching curfew hours.  

During a search, officers found cocaine on the 47-year old man from Kolonga who lives in Hala’ovave.

His house was subsequently searched where the shooting took place.

Acting DPC Taufa said the ultimate responsibility of police is to protect life including that the public and the police.

“The life of the police officers in this operation was under threat which called for the use of necessary force to eliminate such threat.”

Acting DPC Taufa called for the return of all illegal firearms to police.

He warned that there would be consequences for anyone threatening police officers with firearms.


Photo file