24/05/2015 11:37

Statement of Fr. Peter Wasko, SVD about the shooting incident.

On Wednesday, the 20th May 2015 I was on mission patrol, using my fiberglass boat with outboard motor, off the Karawari River into the villages ofKaiwaria and Kungriambun. I had the Masses there with people and was going from Kangriambunto the village Manjamai on the main Karawari River. It was around 13:30pm. Not far from the place where the small tributary, which I was using, joins the main river, was a huge log across, just slightly sticking out of the water. I knew that place and decided to jump over that log with my boat in full speed. As I was doing so, a masked man came out of the bush to the bank and shouted: “Stop, stop” and shot at me from a distance of about 3 meters with his shotgun. Being surprised and in in full speed I had no possibility even to react. His shot got me in abdomen and on the right hip. I managed to drive the boat to Karawari River and collapsed there, and the engine died. There was a man with me in the boat, who took a ride with me as a passenger. He had no experience in driving the boat. We managed to start the engine and he drove the boat very slowly to the village of Manjamai. There a man who could drive my boat was found. I asked him to drive me to Karawari Lodge. Some other people got onto the boat as well, so the boat was heavy and going slowly. I asked them to stop at the bush camp to offload some cargo I had with me hoping that the boat will go faster than, but as the men offloaded the cargo another man got into the boat and we still, were going slowly. I was in much pain, bleeding and feeling weak. Finally we got to Karawari Lodge at Amboin, below the place where rivers Karawari and Arafundio come together. Someone went to Karawari Lodge to send the news about shooting and call for help. Radio call was picked up in Mt. Hagen by John Umba of Trans Niugini Tours. He called Bishop of Wewak Joseph Roszynski on Digicel mobile and rescue operation was organized. A helicopter was send from Wewak with a nurse Gertrud of Catholic Health Centre Wirui on board and I was picked up from Amboin at around 16:37 and brought to Madang General Hospital, where Doctor GerogeKuzma operated on me to stop bleeding, close my perforated intestines and remove some pellets from my body.

Fr. Peter Wasko, SVD
Madang, 21st May 2015

I visited Peter Wasko in the hospital today. He is improving fast even though in much pain yet from the operation. He told me that as he was going from a baret to main Karawari river at the place where there is a big log across lying in the water, he decided to jump that log at full speed, as he was doing so a masked man came out of the bush to the bank of the baret, called stop and fired his shot gun. It would be 3 m distance, Peter said. Peter managed to escape and got as far as main Karawaririver, but was in so much pain that he could not drive the boat any more. At that place it is 3 hours with speed boat to Tumbunke and 40 min to Karawari Lodge and Amboin. He had a man with him in the boat but he did not know how to drive the boat. He managed by going slowly till they got to the next village of Manjamai. There someone took charge of the boat and drive it with Peter to Karawari Lodge. They informed the people at the Lodge and send the message via radio to Hagen. There a man of Trans Niugini Tours, John Umba, an ex seminarian, passed the information to the bishop of Wewak and helikopter was organised to pick up Fr. Peter to bring him to Madang hospital. The incident happened at 13:30 and the helikopter picked him up at 16:37

Fr. Josef Maciolek