TACLOBAN CITY — A police officer shot and killed a motorcycle mechanic in a public market in La Paz, Leyte at about 10:40 a.m. Sunday – reportedly because of a personal grudge over incidents that happened 14 years earlier.
Senior Insp. Ernie Rocha, officer-on-case at the La Paz Municipal Police Station, identified the shooter as SPO1 Ritchie Ramelo, 38, who is assigned at the Calabarzon Police Regional Office based in Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba,Laguna. Ramelo is a resident of Barangay Miring, Tabon-Tabon, Leyte,
He shot Adan Tejero, 37. using his service firearm, a .45-caliber pistol.
The shooting happened at the town’s public market located in Barangay Poblacion, District 3.
Rocha said that the victim was playing chess outisde a store, El Cinco General Merchandise, when the suspect walked towards him and shot him three times,hitting him on different parts of his body.
The police officer immediately ran to a waiting motorcyle driven by a cousin of his, identified as Ricardo Gausin, 33.
Rocha said that on learning from witnesses where the suspect and his companion were heading, they immediately went in pursuit, leading to the arrest of the two at around 11:00 a.m. in Barangay Cabacungan in Dulag, Leyte.
“We asked him to stop, but he attempted to draw his service firearm. I asked him not to attempt it, as this could led to a bloody confrontation. He threw down his gun and surrendered to us,”‘ Rocha said in a phone interview.
On questioning, the suspect told Rocha that he shot the victim due to a personal grudge.
“He had a grudge against the victim as he claimed that he was bullied and physically abused 14 years ago by the victim,” Rocha said. “All these years, he had kept his anger towards the victim in check.”
Ramelo went home to his village in Miring to attend its fiesta Saturday.
Ramelo and his cousin are now detained at the La Paz station while they await charges of murder. /atm
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