A devastated community has gathered at a makeshift memorial today for the Melbourne teenager allegedly stabbed to death on his way home from school.
A devastated community has gathered at a makeshift memorial today and overnight for a teenager allegedly stabbed to death on his way home from school in Melbourne's west.
The parents and siblings of slain 15-year-old Solomone Taufeulungaki arrived at the site near Brimbank Shopping Centre in Deer Park today, singing to him while holding flowers and a sign "fly high Solomone".
The victim's aunt Siualone Taufeulungaki said the songs were called Families are Forever and Child of God, which were about sending the message that Solomone and his family would be together again one day.https://twitter.com/LanaMurphy/status/1273442610158370821
Ms Taufeulungaki said the community support had been a big help to the family.
"People have sent messages and their love and they are here today ... we feel so sad but they help make it lighter," Ms Taufeulungaki said.
The victim's sister told 9News her forgiveness towards his alleged attackers had not wavered, despite the anguish felt by the family.
"I still forgive them for what they have done," she said.
"I love you Solo."
A steady stream of mourners also arrived yesterday evening, leaving behind flowers, balloons and notes to pay tribute to the teenager.
People gathered to sing songs and light candles to mark the tragic incident and pay their respects to the grieving family.
Cousin Aki Favi said she was walking with Solomone when the alleged attack occurred.
She told 9News today her cousin was a "lovely" and "kind" person.
"Solomone was like basically my bodyguard.. he was always there with me," she said.
Earlier, Solomone's grief-stricken family said they did not want justice for those who killed their son, only "forgiveness".
READ MORE: Police given special powers after fatal stabbing of teenager
"Every Sunday my son come to this church. I believe maybe every Sunday his spirit (will) join with us in this true church," his father Atunaisa Taufeulungaki told reporters on Wednesday.
As for those behind his son's death, he said: "We love them. We need to send love to their parents."
Mrs Taufeulungaki described her son, who was one of 12 children, as a "humble" and "funny" boy.
"He's a lovely kid. I miss him," she said.
It is alleged Solomone was approached on Tuesday by a group of eight to 10 youths wielding knives opposite his family's place of worship, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was violently attacked.
Witnesses told 9News the group had been carrying knives up their sleeves and allegedly stabbed the teen "multiple times" in the chest and stomach.
Later that night, a second brawl later broke out in the area, with a police officer taken to hospital.
In an effort to prevent further violence or possible reprisal attacks, police said the area around the crime scene could be declared a "designated area" in the coming days.
The move, usually reserved for special events or protests, would allow officers to stop anyone at random and search for weapons.
"This is an option available to us based on the intelligence received, which gives police further powers to conduct searches for weapons," a post on the Eyewatch Brimbank Police Facebook page reads.
Police said they are also speaking with friends, families, schools and community leaders who are known to the young people involved to "alleviate tensions and ensure they're aware of the behaviour and the risks involved with any further violence".
"Rest assured we are doing everything we can to put a stop to this behaviour," they said.
9News understands the year 10 student was attacked on his way home from school by a group who called themselves "The 97 Brotherhood" and allegedly made chilling threats online.
It's believed the teenager went to the same school as his attackers and the argument was reportedly sparked by an argument on social media.
The group allegedly ran away, but six were arrested on nearby Billingham Road a short time later.
Six teenager face court over attack
Six male teenagers, aged between 13 and 16, were charged with violent disorder and affray.
They each faced a Children's Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors did not oppose bail for three of the boys, aged 14, 15, and 16.
Strict conditions were imposed, including a curfew, that they not associate with any of their co-accused or prosecution witnesses.
It was also ordered that they not threaten, harass or incite violence against any other person, including on social media.
No one has been charged with directly causing his death.
- With AAP reporting
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/deer-park-stabbing-melbourne-brinbank-shopping-centre-solomone-taufeulungaki-vigil/b2f5376d-9b2b-483a-8e2c-6bd5b3202b8a