MANILA, Philippines – A 6-year-old boy died after being hit by a stray bullet during a suspected gunfire between a police officer and a drug suspect in Caloocan City on Sunday.
Gian Habal, a freshman, was playing in front of his house on Mabini Street in Camarin at around 2:20 pm when the bullet struck him on the forehead.
He was taken to the North Medical Center in the town of Caloocan, but was pronounced dead after 20 minutes. His mother, Jessa, said he always wanted to be a cop.
The victim's grandmother, Elsa Montañez, 65, was wounded after being shot in the foot by the officer when she tried to stop him from leaving the scene.
Cpl. Rocky delos Reyes, assigned to the Administration Unit of the Central Police Station of Caloocan, surrendered on Sunday night. He would be charged with manslaughter and serious physical injury.
Colonel Ferdinand del Rosario, the city's assistant police chief, said Delos Reyes admitted being in a gunfight and firing at the boy's grandfather on foot. But he denied that it was he who shot the boy.
Delos Reyes said he was on his way home when he met a man known only as "Botchok," wanted for possession of illegal drugs. They traded shots, but Botchok escaped.
However, Montañez told the Inquirer that she heard only a single shot, which was confirmed by Jessa.
"There was no exchange of fire," Montañez said. She added that when she ran out shortly afterwards, she saw Jessa holding the victim.
Montañez said he also saw the policeman taking a motorcycle and tried to stop him, grabbing him by the collar of his uniform. Her husband, Arsenius, also came to his aid.
"I saw him [Delos Reyes], in a hurry to leave, but I arrested him so he would not escape. I asked him, "What did you do to my grandson?" But he did not speak, "she said.
"I did not let go until he shot my left foot," he added. Delos Reyes fled the scene after the incident.
Jessa said she wanted justice for her son. I want to know why [Delos Reyes] shot him He could have fired a warning shot.
The city's chief of police, Colonel Restitute Arcangel, said the suspect's .45 caliber weapon was delivered by ballistic tests to determine if he had fired the bullet that killed the boy.
Following a comment, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of the National Capital Region Police said: "We have commended the victims' families and will continue the investigation while the police in question suffer the consequences of their action by filing both victims. criminal and administrative proceedings. "
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