A MT Hagen-based newspaper journalist was shot dead, allegedly by a relative, at his village outside the city on Saturday, The National reports.
Police are investigating the death of Sent Timbi at his Ogugulben village at about 7.30pm.
Police said the man who pulled the trigger of the self-loading rifle was on the run after firing three shots – the first in the air, the second at a house showing videos and the third at Timbi.
He was killed instantly after the bullet penetrated his chest and went through the village store that he was standing beside.
Timbi’s immediate family of the Yamka tribe were confused and shocked, saying they did not know the motive behind the killing but were helping police with their investigations.
A relative Pang Pawa said the father of an 11-year-old boy was gunned down as he was talking with his tribesmen in front of the shop.
According to Pawa, the suspected gunman had called Timbi twice on Saturday night, telling the journalist that he had a problem with his employees at his coffee plantation and needed Timbi’s assistance to solve it.
He said Timbi was a devout SDA who had just returned home from church service and was making his way to the video premises, about 300m away, when the suspect drove towards their ceremonial ground close to the video site.
Pawa said three shots were then fired, the third being the fatal one which also went close to wounding the storekeeper inside.
Timbi’s body is now at the Mt Hagen General Hospital morgue.
He started his journalism career as a stringer with The National in 2007 before joining the Post-Courier last year.
Pawa said the family would allow justice to take its course.