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Rikishi, Samoan wrestling great, makes public emotional plea for help in his niece’s murder

Rikishi niece murdered

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    The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is offering a $50,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest in the killing of 16-year-old Jaedah Tofaeono, the niece of WWE wrestler Rikishi.

    Rikishi makes a public plea: Professional wrestler, Rikishi, 55, whose real name is Solofa F. Fatu Jr., took to Twitter to ask for help in the case of Tofaeono, who he said was his niece. 

    • He tweeted a picture of a flier that the SFPD put out, which contained a picture of Tofaeno and a notice of the reward of $50,000 for information that would lead to the conviction of the suspect responsible for her murder. He wrote, “They murdered my niece in the Bay Area. 16 years old.” 
    • Fatu, who is part of a famous family of American Samoan wrestlers, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015 and was known for being a part of The Headshrinkers tag team with fellow wrestler Samu. 
    • He eventually became known as “The Sultan” and then “Rikishi” in 1999. 
    • Fatu was part of the WWE from 1992 to 2004, according to Bleacher Report. 

    What happened: Tofaeono and another female victim were shot on Bertha Lane near Hudson Avenue and Ingalls Street before 7 p.m. on July 31, ABC7 News reported. The teen later died from her injuries at a hospital, while the other victim survived.

    • According to CBS San Francisco, Tofaeono was skateboarding before the shooting. A neighbor of hers saw her after she was shot, stating, “I walked outside and saw the little girl and I’m like ‘My gosh, someone shot the little girl.’”
    • The other female victim next to Tofaeono was identified as the teen’s 45-year-old aunt, who reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries and is expected to live, KTVU reported. 
    • When police arrived on the scene, they were able to recover six shell casings on the sidewalk. One of the bullets hit the house. 
    • Many of Tofaeono’s neighbors were frightened by the abrupt shooting, with one neighbor claiming they don’t want to go outside anymore. 
    • This is San Francisco’s 29th homicide this year. 
    • “We don’t know if it’s targeted. We don’t know if it’s random,” police spokesperson Officer Adam Lobsinger said after the shooting. “What we do know is that a 16-year-old girl lost her life to gun violence last night in the Bayview, and it’s so important to us that the community come forward and help us out right now.”

    No hate, no grudge”: Tofaeono’s father, James Tofaeono, called for the end of gun violence in a press conference on Aug. 5.

    • “I know everyone has their own views on what justice is and what it should be or how it should look. But the only justice we are seeking is peace,” he told reporters.
    • James also offered forgiveness to his daughter’s killer, adding, “There are no hidden agendas nor are we pushing for revenge or retaliation,” he said.

    Anyone with information may contact Sergeant Nico Discenza of the San Francisco Police Department Homicide Detail at 1-415-553-9069 or the SFPD’s tip line at 1-415-575-4444 or text a message to Text-a-Tip at TIP411 with “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.

    Featured Image via Attitude & Ruthless Aggression (left) and SFPD (right)

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