Escalating gang violence in the city has claimed its first innocent victim, a hard-working Samoan man forging an honest life for himself in Calgary.

Keni Su’a, 43, was gunned down on New Year’s Day while dining alone over soup at Bolsa Vietnamese Restaurant, an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to police.

“Keni was a kind, God-loving, hardworking man. He didn’t deserve this. I think the whole city will feel this loss,” close family friend Tannis Keteca told Metro.

Ketaca said she and her husband are the only family Su’a has in Canada. He came from Samoa and became a Canadian citizen in 2004. She said he was just enjoying a ritual they shared together many times, but unfortunately the restaurant they normally dine in was closed that day.

“He went alone because most of us were away, but that’s something we always liked to do as a group together.”

Keteca said Su’a moved to Calgary from Kelowna, B.C., and was making a life and home for himself here. She now worries if Sua’s brothers will be able to afford to come to the city.

“It’s so sad. He just bought a ticket to go home and surprise his parents. He loved Canada, and chose to live in Calgary, but his heart was home in Samoa,” she added.

Kateca is angry that Su’a became a victim of the escalating gang violence in the city, but she is also worried.

“I think there are a lot of unanswered questions, and I’m worried our city is becoming like this. People think it doesn’t happen close to home, but it can,” Keteca added.

And Calgary police are worried, too, as their worst fears have come true, Deputy Chief Murray Stooke told reporters.

“This is the first innocent bystander we know of with absolutely no connections to gangs whatsoever to be killed, and it’s a very tragic situation,” he said.

Also killed was known gang member Sanjeev Mann, 22, of Calgary and Aaron Bendle, 21, an associate of Mann’s.

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