Suspect in Nicole Ella shooting accident cleared

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09:09 PM January 3rd, 2013

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January 3rd, 2013 09:09 PM

PRETTY IN PINK Stephanie Nicole Ella (second from left), her 5-year-old brother Ken and her cousins eagerly await New Year’s Eve outside their home in Caloocan City unaware that she would be hit by a stray bullet at midnight. Note date on photo at right. PHOTO COURTESY OF ELLA FAMILY

MANILA, Philippines – The search for Stephanie Nicole Ella’s killer continues after the Caloocan Police said that the gun of a suspect who voluntarily surrendered late Thursday afternoon was not the gun from where the stray bullet which hit the girl on New Year’s Eve came from.

Superintendent Jack Candelario, Caloocan Police spokesman and the city police assistant chief for operations, said the ballistic signature from suspect Jack Agos’ gun did not match the ballistic signature found on the bullet which hit Ella in the head.

“We found out that the marks generated from Agos’ gun are not similar from the marks we found on the bullet which hit Stephanie in the head,” Candelario said in a telephone interview.

Agos, an alleged former intelligence officer of the Presidential Security Group and now the lupon ng barangay or the barangay justice of Barangay 185, admitted to the Caloocan Police that he, along with four other companions, took turns in firing his .45-caliber gun during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The negative results were announced hours after Agos and his companions surrendered to the Caloocan Police, as word of their gun-firing spread throughout the small community.

Candelario said the police found out the mismatch quickly because of existing records.

“The ballistic signature of Agos’ gun, which is duly registered, is in our database, called the Internal Ballistics Identification System, which holds signatures from all registered guns. This database basically holds the ‘fingerprints’ of all registered guns,” he said.

All the police had to do next was look at the ballistic patterns left on the bullet which hit Ella.

“Unfortunately, the two patterns did not match,” Candelario said.

But while Agos and his four drinking buddies are absolved of the killing, Candelario said they would still face charges of illegal discharge of firearms.

Agos will also be suspended in his capacity as barangay justice after the incident.

“And we will continue looking for Ella’s killers,” he said.

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