BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/27 March) – Authorities are now preparing to file a case against a 36-year-old man who accidentally shot and killed his 8-year-old daughter while cleaning his caliber .45 pistol at home Thursday last week.
The Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) identified the suspect as Romeo Liza Ranoco and the victim as Jelly Jean Ranoco, both of Purok 9 Sta. Cruz, Manila de Bugabos, a barangay situated 15 kilometers away southwest of the city proper.
“I was washing the dishes when I heard the gunshot. I could not believe that my child would be the victim of the gun held by her
father,” said Joana Mae Ranoco, mother of the victim. “I’m shocked when I saw her running towards us with blood on her body,” she added.
Romeo said during an interview that he was just cleaning his pistol at the dining table when it suddenly discharged.
“I did not expect anybody to be shot since the gun was pointed at the wall which divided the dining area and the living room. I never imagined that she was on the other side sitting while watching television,” he said.
The suspect added that after the shot was fired, Jelly run towards him shouting “Papa!”
“I though she was just frightened by the shot fired and she wanted to say something. But when she came close I then saw the blood running through her body,” said Romeo.
The victim was immediately rushed to MJ Santos Hospital but didn’t make it alive.
Elements of Butuan City Police Station 5, headed by PO3 Gilberto S. Oclarit, immediately responded and detained Ranoco, who voluntarily surrendered and turned over his pistol with a magazine loaded with ammunition.
The suspect is now detained at the BCPO. Police said charges against him will be filed within the week.
Former city councilor Benjie Calo, who heads the Philippine Practical Shooting Association in Butuan, said it was an accident, but added that the pistol was handled inappropriately.
“It was not done purposely. But the problem was that it seemed the father was not an expert gun handler. Before touching his gun, he should have checked if there are bullets and then removed these,” said Calo. (Erwin Mascariñas / MindaNews)