By Nitz Arancon
MASKED gunmen shot and killed a sleeping 15-year old in an attack that was apparently intended for a former jailbird in Puntod on Wednesday night.
Chief Insp. Roberto Zafra of the Macabalan police identified the victim as Wilfredo Cutamora, 15, of River Wall, Block 4, Barangay Puntod. He was a 1st year student at the Macabalan National High school.
Zafra said the gunmen wounded 37-year old Benjie Pagente who has been released from the Lumbia jail. He was a suspect in a theft case that was subsequently settled out of court, according to Zafra.
Police said they suspect the attack was related to illegal drugs.
Cutamora was rushed to the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) where he was declared dead on arrival. The teenager succumbed to a gunshot wound in the neck.
Pagente was also rushed to the same hospital after being hit in the arm.
Zafra said the victims were attacked by two armed men who barged into Pagente’s house and started shooting at around 10 pm Wednesday.
He said there were two other suspects who waited outside Pagente’s house. They were on motorcycles.
Zafra said investigators suspected that Cutamora had nothing to do with Pagente’s activities and the teenager’s being there at that time was only incidental.
He said Pagente was suspected to be a drug dealer.
Cutamora’s grieving mother Erlinda has called on authorities to identify, arrest and bring her son’s killers to justice.
Police said they were gathering clues and data in the hope of identifying suspects. They said they found a slug at the crime scene and brought it to a police laboratory for examination.
A witness said she saw two of the gunmen who barged into Pagente’s house. She said one wore an orange T-shirt while the other was wearing white.
The witness said she saw one of the suspects shoot Pagente while the other one fired a shot at the teenager who was asleep.
She said the gunmen then fled.
Laling Flores, a neighbor of Pagente’s, said there was an attempt on the man’s life last month but the assailants failed.