3 dead, 1 hurt in Kidapawan shooting

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews /20 January) — After they executed their target, two suspected gun-for-hire were killed as they engaged in shootout with police operatives Friday dawn, Kidapawan City police director, Superintendent Ramel Hojilla, said.

Hojilla identified the slain gunmen as Aljiver Gerosaga and John Hermie Estopacia, both residents of Barangay Saguing in Makilala.

The gunmen’s target, identified as Noa Capulong, 16, was also killed, the police official said.

Citing as basis reports of the police investigation unit, Hojilla said Capulong was shot on the head and chest while on board his passenger tricycle parked in front of a barbecue stall along Quezon Boulevard, here.

Hojilla identified Gerosaga as the triggerman.

Afte Gerosaga shot dead Capulong, the gunman moved fast to the motorbike driven by Estopacia, which was also parked near the victim’s tricycle, Hojilla added.

But even before Gerosaga could allegedly withdraw from the area, he was met by a volley of fire coming from two policemen in civilian clothes who happened to be on site.

Hojilla added the gunman engaged in a shootout with the cops but was also hit on his head and in different parts of his body.  Estopacia, gunman’s buddy, also tried to escape but he, too, met his death when cops shot him on the head.

A bystander identified as Evanuel Sahid-Sahid, 25, of Mundog Subdivision, Poblacion, here, was seriously injured when he was hit by a stray bullet.

Initial investigation showed that Gerosaga and Estopacia were both guns-for-hire who belong to a syndicate operating in North Cotabato, while Capulong has long been wanted for series of robberies, hold-ups, and other crimes in the city and in nearby towns in North Cotabato. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)