North Sentinel Island is inhabited by an almost uncontacted tribe of people who resist any interaction with the outside world, often violently. The island is protected by Indian authorities, both to save the tribe from unintended consequences of contact and to keep outsiders from being killed by the island's archers.
"It's very unfortunate. It's a sensitive tribe living in that area for 60,000 years. They should not be contacted," Criminal Investigations Department Superintendent of Police Deepak Yadav explained to India Today. "They could be prone to diseases from outside world. The Coast Guard and Indian Navy carry out patrolling to prevent people from entering."
American John Allen Chau was able to sneak onto the island after paying local fishermen to get him near the island. He initially swam ashore without attracting attention, but had to return to the boat after a child on the island fired an arrow at him.
"God sheltered me and camouflaged me against the coast guard and the navy," Chau wrote of his ability to avoid detection.
His tone changed after the encounter with an islander.
"Why did a little kid have to shoot me today?" he asked in his notes that were left with the fishermen he'd hired. "His high-pitched voice still lingers in my head."
"I DON'T WANT TO DIE," he added. "Would it be wiser to leave and let someone else to continue. No I don't think so."
According to ABC, Chau seemed to be visiting the island on a missionary trip to spread Christianity. All accounts point toward Chau being a devout Christian, as he attended a parochial high school and college. The arrow that the Sentinelese child shot at him pierced a Bible that Chau had been carrying.
Chau's body was buried by islanders on the beach, according to fishermen who were waiting for him offshore. Authorities are currently speaking with anthropologists and other experts to figure out if they can recover Chau's body. Five fishermen, Chau's friend, and a local tour guide have been arrested for aiding the him in his mission to the island.