5 dead in CamSur hostage-taking on New Year’s eve
PILI, Camarines Sur-—Police said five persons were dead when a 10-hour hostage-taking incident in Barangay (village) New San Roque in this town ended at past 4 p.m. Tuesday, on New Year’s eve.
Senior Superintendent Ramiro Bausa, provincial police chief, said hostage-taker Anthony Zepeda, 35, shot himself in the head with a .45-cal. pistol after shooting to death his father Expedito, brother Victor, the latter’s wife Sharmaine and an unidentified househelp.
Bausa said the hostage crisis team tried to negotiate with Anthony but the negotiation did not take off after Anthony’s refusal to talk with the team.
“Our last communication with the hostage-taker was at 12:15 noontime,” said Bausa.
He said a female relative of the Zepeda family told police she called up the house around this time and was told the five persons inside the house had already eaten.
Bausa said they stood their ground outside the house but at 4:15 p.m. the police heard two gunshots that rang from inside the house.
“The police team then stormed the house and found the five dead bodies inside a room in the second floor,” he said.
Scene of Crime Operatives were still conducting an investigation as of posting time.
Police believed the hostage drama started to unfold at 6 a.m. while each family members were preparing to take their breakfast.
Senior Insp. Benjamin Spaña, Pili police chief, in an interview, said a second house helper, whom he identified as Gello Gallardo, 14, was able to flee when tension heightened during the family’s breakfast at past 9 a.m.
Gallardo told police that before he fled the house Expedito and Anthony were arguing and he saw Anthony hit his father with a chair.
Rogelio Regondola, vice mayor of Pili, who headed the hostage crisis committee, had identified five persons who were left behind inside the house that included Anthony, his father, brother, the latter’s wife and the unnamed househelp.
Spaña said Anthony had also fired a gun indiscriminately, wounding three persons. Two of the injured were identified as Rubilyn Adizas who sustained a wound in the abdomen and Rene Becensio who was hit by a bullet in the shoulders. It was still unclear where the three injured persons were located when Anthony started to fire shots.
The hostage-taking happened in a one-hectare compound where a facility for the production of animal feeds owned by the family is located, added Spaña.
Traffic was rerouted to the diversion road as motorists were prevented from entering the town center of Pili while the hostage-taking occurred.
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