Tuesday, 14 August 2012 13:16
Number of gunshot victims in city rises to 116
Three more residents here fell victims to another gun violence Sunday night as authorities continue to struggle against alarming worrisome increase in shooting incidents.
On Sunday night, unidentified gunmen riding-in-tandem on a motorcylce shot to death three people identified as Billy Sarte y Lee, 60; his son, Ronald, 24; a friend Emmanuel Boy Uy y Ignacio, of legal age.
According to the police, the latest shooting incident transpired along Governor Ramos Avenue, Barangay Sta. Maria.
The victims were rushed to Ciudad Medical Zamboanga hospital for medical treatment, but Sarte was declared dead on arrival while his son and the other victim died while undergoing medication.
Police said the three victims suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the difderent parts of their body causing their death.
Scene of the Crime Operations (SOCO) and police investigators of Sta. Maria Police Station recovered 8 spent shells and 3 slugs of Caliber .45 Pistol from the crime scene.
The victims’ motorcycle Yamaha MIO with plate number 2982 JG and Ramstar 110 with license plate number 7648 TC were also impounded by responding policemen for safekeeping and proper disposition.
Initial police investigation showed that the victims attended a fiesta “fonda” celebration in Barangay San Roque then afterwards, left the place on board two separate motorcycles passing through Gov. Ramos Avenue.
“However, upon reaching the crime scene, about 50 meters from Fareview Subdivision, unidentified riding-in-tandem armed suspects tailing them called the attention of Sarte and allegedly prompted the victims to stop and confronted the assailants,” the report said.
Probers said the suspects suddenly opened fired at the victims then hurriedly fled towards unknown direction after the incident.
An sketchy report reaching Zamboanga Today showed that Sarte allegedly engaged in a heated argument at Gallera de San Roque before they went to attend the “fonda’’.
It was learned from investigators that Sarte was engaged in cash lending. The police are looking into this as one of the motives of the incident.
A continuous investigation is still being conducted to establish the identity of the assailants for their possible arrest.
The motive for the shooting is still under investigation.
Meanwhile, OIC-City Police Director Sr. Supt. James Mejia admitted that they lacked people to secure the stretch of Govenor Ramos Avenue.
“Kulang talaga sila ng mga tao napakahaba ng strecth na iyan diyan medyo maluwag ang area,” Mejia said in Tagalog.
He, however, assured that the police are working as hard as they can to stop the gun shooting incidents in the city.
“We are doing every single thing we can to keep the people safe,” the police chief added.
Mayor Celso Lobregat, meantime, called on those people who have the idea or information about the shooting incidents.
“Aquel tience information dale con el hepe del police,” Lobregat said in chavacano.
Reacting to information that a drunk man in police uniform allegedly engaged in a heated argument with Sarte before the incident happened, Lobregat said: “Manda kita imbistiga porque le buratso aquel tiempo.”
Following Sunday night’s shooting, which claimed the lives of three, the number of gun shot victims rose from 113 the other day to 116 in the latest.
Meanwhile, businessmen and concerned citizens expressed alarm anew on the increasing gun shooting incidents.
“The gun shooting incident keeps getting worse in the city. This only shows the city government has failed to effectively address it.”
“After the latest incident, we have started speculating about when the next gunshooting will happen,” said one businessman who requested anonymity.
A concerned citizen said despite having the big intelligence fund and savings in the bank, the city government cannot prevent its citizens from falling victim to domestic gun crime.
The city is considered now as among the top cities in the country in terms of casualties of gun-related incidents, according to the concerned citizen.
As the argument over shooting incidents continue and politicians dodge the issue, more innocent lives have been claimed.
By Eugene A. Lasprilla with reports from Hader Glang
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