Samar judge shot dead inside cockpit
CATARMAN, Northern Samar — A municipal trial judge in this province was shot to death while betting inside a cockpit in Pambujan town on Sunday afternoon.
The unidentified assailant was also shot dead by the security escort of Judge Reynaldo Espinar, 53, presiding judge of the Laoang Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Northern Samar.
Senior Insp. Alden Dugan, Pambujan police chief, said Espinar was inside the Padcor Cockpit Arena in Barangay 8 Poblacion at about 4:50 p.m. when a lone gunman shot him with a .45-caliber pistol.
Wilfredo Sarominez, Espinar’s close-in security and a retired Army soldier, shot and killed the assailant, he added.
Espinar, of Barangay 1 in Pambujan, suffered a single gunshot wound in the head and died on the spot while the gunman died of multiple gunshot wounds in the back, chest and face.
The police were still determining the identity of gunman.
“There was no wallet or any identification when we searched his body,” Dugan said.
He added that they recovered a mobile phone and the .45 caliber pistol from the gunman.
“We are waiting for family members to claim his body so we could get his name, and eventually know the motive of this killing.”
Dugan said the gunman was in his mid 20s, with dark complexion and medium build.
The authorities were also examining the gunman’s mobile phone for any information related to the killing.
“We found some leads (from the mobile phone conversations) but it is still premature to disclose it to the public.” Dugan said.
Last May, Espinar survived an ambush while driving to Gamay town to attend a hearing. He told the police that he had been getting death threats arising from the cases he was handling.
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