On the evening of March 13th, 39-year-old Maluelue Fitiao and his girlfriend were in his bedroom of his place in the 7400 block of McKinley Avenue. His male roommate had invited a few people over. The gathering got loud. Maluelue repeatedly asked them to keep quiet. According to charging papers, he eventually came out of the bedroom with a folding knife and demanded that everyone leave.
At this point a 27-year-old pulled out a .40 caliber pistol. The 27-year-old’s brother was in the next room. He pulled his 9mm pistol as well. What happened next isn’t entirely clear. Maluelue’s girlfriend came out of the bedroom. Witnesses say she grabbed another woman by the neck. Moments later the 21-year-old claims that Maluelue swung the knife at his brother at which point the 21-year-old opened fire. The two brothers fired a total of eleven shots. One narrowly missed a 10-year-old sleeping in another room. Maluelue was dead before emergency responders could arrive. His girlfriend was wounded.
The brothers left the scene, ditched their guns, and were later apprehended. Because Maluelue was armed with a knife prosecutors have declined to file homicide charges in his death though both brothers face weapons charges and one is being charged with the shooting of Maluelue’s girlfriend.
Maluelue’s friends called him ‘Lue’. They say he was a ‘gentle giant’. His death is senseless and demonstrates how quickly things can needlessly escalate when weapons are involved.
As always, the comments section is reserved for those who knew Lue and want to share thoughts or memories of him.
– Jack Cameron