An officer of the Mappi District police with the initials D.E. shot dead 19-year-old Nikolausi Bernolpus on the 25 December 2017 at 4.00 am East Indonesia Time during a routine police patrol in Kodok Street, in Kepi Town of Mappi Regency. The incident was confirmed by the by district police chief Wartono in an interview with the independent Papuan media outlet Tabloid Jubi. The Papuan Regional Police (Polda Papua) publicly announced to launch an investigation into the case.
Nikolausi Bernolpus and several friends were sitting near the road as the police patrol passed them. An argument between a plain cloth officer and the group occurred after the officer suspected the young men to drink alcoholic drinks and ordered them to go home. The argument ended in a brawl, which upon Nikolausi Bernolpus allegedly hit the officer with a wooden pole. According to police chief Wartono, the officer fell on the ground, draw his gun and released two warning shots. As Nikolausi Bernolpus tried to escape, the officer released a further shot, hitting Nikolausi from behind in the neck.