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SWAT team kills suspect in teen’s slay

Witness helps police bag gunman

MANILA, Philippines — The primary suspect in a teenager’s killing — believed to be a case of mistaken identity — was shot dead by policemen in a drug bust after he supposedly resisted arrest in Manila on Sunday.

Jade Ayson, a member of the Sputnik and Uzi gangs, died after he reportedly traded shots with members of the Manila Police District’s (MPD) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team at his live-in partner’s house in Building 18 of the Permanent Housing in Balut, Tondo, around 1:30 a.m.

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Ayson had earlier been tagged by the police as the man who shot dead 17-year-old Ronalyn Jamon on April 7.

Mistaken for someone else

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The teenager was buying food on Dayao Street, also in Balut, Tondo, when she was killed. Authorities said that Ayson had mistaken her for Juanabie, a known drug pusher in the area.

The police said they were able to identify Ayson based on the information given to them by “Rommel,” who came forward and claimed he had known the suspect for a long time.

“They were both electricians and would go on drug escapades together,” said Lt. Col. Reynaldo Magdaluyo, MPD Station 1 commander.

Footage taken by a closed circuit TV (CCTV) camera showed that Rommel and Ayson were together minutes before the latter left for Dayao Street to kill the teenager.

“In the CCTV [footage], [Rommel and Ayson] were seen walking together, but the gunman boarded a tricycle while the [witness] kept walking. [Rommel] was not present at the crime scene,” Magdaluyo said.

After learning from Rommel that the 46-year-old Ayson was not only a contract killer but also involved in the illegal drug trade, members of the MPD antidrug enforcement team set up an entrapment operation.

However, Ayson allegedly resisted arrest and shot it out with the policemen, resulting in his death.

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Defiant to the end

The suspect even yelled, “I will fight you!” according to Magdaluyo, who added that they had to ask the SWAT team to join the operation because “the gunman was dangerous.”

“Uzi gang members are hired killers and drug dealers and if you can’t pay them what you owe them, they will kill you,” he said.

Before he was killed, Ayson was detained at Manila City Jail for possession of illegal drugs from 2014 to 2018.

Recovered from him were a .38-caliber Browning handgun loaded with five bullets, a spare magazine with seven bullets, seven 9-mm bullets, a bullet casing and seven sachets containing what seemed to be “shabu” (crystal meth).

Magdaluyo told the Inquirer that Jamon and Juanabie, both from Balut, Tondo, were of the same age and height. They also had the same hairstyle. “It is possible they knew each other,” he said.

Jamon was supposed to celebrate her 18th birthday in June.

“The family is asking for justice, but with the [result of the operation], justice has been served,” Magdaluyo said.

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TAGS: Jade Ayson, Juanabie, mistaken identity, Ronalyn Jamon, teenager's killing
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