'Nobody deserves to die like that'

SEEKING ANSWERS: Geraldine Tedtaotao, center, wipes tears as she remembers her brother, Xavier Tedtaotao, who died in an officer-involved shooting earlier this month. Xavier’s mother, Carol Anderson, right, and sister, Paula Tedtaotao, left, recall the Nov. 3 shooting and want police to provide answers. Kevin Milan/ The Guam Daily Post

The mother of Xavier Anderson Tedtaotao said the family would have celebrated his 43rd birthday on Nov. 22, just a few days shy of Thanksgiving.

“I can’t say goodbye and I won’t. He’s not physically here but he will stay here forever,” said Carol Anderson, Xavier’s mom, as she gestured to her heart. “He’s my baby, my youngest. He was a gentle giant.”

Instead, Anderson continues to wait for answers from investigators after Tedtaotao was shot and killed by Guam police in Tamuning earlier this month.

“How long do I have to wait? I need to put my son to rest,” Anderson said. “I was told whatever was in the news briefing and in the newspaper is what I have to go by. I told them I didn’t read the newspaper and I didn’t hear any news conference on it. Why you people cannot tell me what happened to my son? They said that they can’t because of the severity of the crime. What was the crime? We’d like to know.”

On the evening of Nov. 3, Guam police responded to a theft complaint at an apartment on Benito Street in Tamuning. Officers spotted two people inside a car that was reported stolen. GPD Chief Stephen Ignacio said the driver of the car accelerated, striking a marked patrol car and another car in the parking lot before police opened fire.

Family members confirmed Tedtaotao and his wife, Viki Ann, were inside the car. Viki Ann was shot at least eight times in her right arm, her back and her knees. She is recovering from her injuries.

“She was begging them to stop. She said we don’t have no weapons. We don’t have anything,” Anderson said. “They were telling her to shut the F- up and she couldn’t move because she was wounded. She said she slid from the chair and was on the floor. She said they wouldn’t stop.”

Anderson said she hasn't received information from authorities and hasn't been allowed to view her son's remains.

“I want some answers. We’d like some answers, so I can share it with his kids,” she said. Tedtaotao left behind three sons and two daughters, one of whom lives off-island. “We need some closure.”

At least four GPD officers are being investigated in connection with the shooting. The officers have since been placed on administrative leave.

“We still haven’t seen him. We want to know who identified him. We just need to put him to rest, have closure. It’s hard every day. None of us have closure,” said Geraldine Tedtaotao, Xavier Tedtaotao’s sister. “Nobody deserves to die like that. It hurts that we lost our baby brother due to the stupidity of them shooting. Why did they have to shoot so many times? My sister-in-law being hurt like that and taken from her kids. Just not knowing hurts. It really does and not being able to see him.”

The family said they will always remember Xavier Tedtaotao for his big smile.

“I last spoke to him when I was getting ready to go to the election,” said Paula Tedtaotao, Xavier Tedtaotao’s sister. The shooting happened the night of Guam's general election.

She said her brother told her, “I love you. I’ll be waiting for you.”

The family recalled the nightmare of having to check multiple hospitals the night of the shooting, and was only told later at the Tumon-Tamuning Police Precinct that Xavier Tedtaotao had died.

The Office of the Attorney General told The Guam Daily Post on Wednesday, “We are actively investigating it and conducting interviews. An autopsy is still pending and will take place as soon as practicable.”

Criminal past

In March, Xavier Tedtaotao was arrested after being accused of stealing a car in the Kmart parking lot.

He was among the suspects arrested in May 2019 in connection with the armed robbery of two tourists at an East Hagåtña pavilion and the roadside armed robbery of a local resident in Tamuning, according to Post files.

He was convicted of robbing a woman and her daughter near the Two Lovers Point sign in 2017. 

“He made some bad choices in life," Xavier Tedtaotao's mother said. "The devil had a grip on him for a long time and he was battling that. He was becoming a good...he was trying his hardest to get out of that web, whatever it was."

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