2 dead, 1 hurt as car occupants pepper van with bullets in Passi

PHOTO CAPTION: Scene-of-the-crime operatives (SOCO) are deep into their investigation of the incident, combing the area for all evidence that could bring the police closer to the suspects of the fatal shooting that left two dead and another injured./iNEWS (N. Glenn Aragon/Photos courtesy of Angel Mae Ciudad/Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo)

PASSI CITY, ILOILO–Two persons were killed and another injured when men onboard a Toyota Vios car sprayed a Toyota Hi-Ace van with bullets along Brgy. Aglalana, Passi City, yesterday afternoon.

According to Jinnefer Opina, the driver of the said van, he was with three others in the vehicle when the shooting started; he survived unscathed but all his passengers were hit.

Investigators of the Passi City Police Station (PCPS) later identified the victims as Jennylyn Griño, a resident of Tanza-Esperanza, City Proper, and a certain Jomar Fuentes. Both were pronounced dead-on-arrival at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Dorado, a resident of Panit-an, Capiz, was injured in the attack.

In his statement to police probers this morning, Opina said he was contacted by Dorado to pick them up in Tanza-Esperanza in Iloilo City and bring them to Panit-an.

He said he noticed the Vios car was tailing them when they were still in Pototan town. At some point, he continued, they overtook the suspects’ car in Brgy. Dawis in the same town, but lagged behind again when they stopped to eat at a restaurant near a cockpit in Passi City. When they hit the road once more, he saw the car again behind them and even gave it enough room to overtake them at a curve.

It was at this juncture when the occupants of the car started shooting at them. He said that immediately after hearing the first volley of gunfire, he crouched under the steering wheel, the reason why he was not hit.

Opina said he heard no less than 13 shots coming from the suspects’ vehicle. When it appeared the suspects had already fled the scene, he said he got out of the van to seek help from residents in the area.

Opina said the suspects went in the direction of Roxas City afterward.

One of the recovered spent casings at the scene of the crime/iNEWS

RECOVERIES

Recovered by police probers from the site of the incident were about 20 spent cartridges of a 9mm, M16, and a .45 caliber, according to Passi City police chief P/Lt. Col. Dennis Pamonag.

Inside the van, meanwhile, scene-of-the-crime operatives (SOCO) were able to recover four bags—a backpack, a handbag, a belt bag, and an eco-bag—all containing the personal belongings of the victims.

Pamonag added that no contraband or illegal items were found inside the said bags.

BACKGROUNDER

Dorado, who survived the attack, was the subject of a drug buy-bust operation in Roxas City in 2008. This was confirmed by P/Lt. Mary Cris Dela Cruz, chief of the Panit-an Municipal Police Station (MPS).

In addition to this, Dorado, a native of Brgy. Bahit, Panit-an, also was charged with frustrated murder and imprisoned in 2017. He was released from incarceration the following year.

Meanwhile, Griño was a resident of Brgy. Tanza-Esperanza, City Proper, confirmed Punong Barangay Wilbur Orada. He said the victim was arrested in a drug buy-bust operation some 10 to 12 years ago and was released from prison no more than three months ago.

Orada also stated that the van that the victims used to ferry them to Panit-an was seen in their barangay the night before the incident, probably leaving the city around noon yesterday.

Initial information revealed that Dorado and Griño were live-in partners.

According to Orada, he had received information that the couple had decided to live in the city, which was why they were moving their belongings from Capiz.

The other fatality, Jomar Fuentes, meanwhile, had no bad record in Brgy. Bahit, Panit-an, according to Punong Barangay Ma. Analiza Biclar, and may have only been invited to ride with the live-in partners. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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