Crippled patient shoots doctor dead, then kills self in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Frustrated that he could still not walk after a surgery, a 72-year-old retired seaman shot and killed the orthopedic surgeon who operated on his back last December.
After shooting Dr. Cris Cecil Abbu, Wilfredo Sabonsolin then killed himself inside the PT Center of the Sacred Heart Hospital on Urgello Street, Cebu City, about 9:45 a.m. on Thursday.
Abbu, 45 and a resident of Maria Luisa Village in Cebu City, was shot in the left part of his chest. The bullet then pierced through his heart, killing the surgeon.
Sabonsolin shot himself in the left temple. The bullet exited through the right temple.
Senior Police Officer 4 Alex Dacua, police homicide investigator, said Sabonsolin might have been frustrated and angry at the surgeon because he could still not walk since his operation last December.
He said that based on their investigation, Sabonsolin was athletic and used to run even if he was in his 70s. His running, however, took a toll on his spinal cord, said Dacua.
Sabonsolin’s nephew, who asked not to be named, said his uncle was quite active and would run as a form of exercise.
But last December, Sabonsolin complained of a nagging pain in his back, which prompted him to see a doctor.
He had his back checked by Abbu who recommended surgery on his spinal cord, said Dacua.
Abbu was said to have assured Sabonsolin that he could walk again without pain after therapy.
Sabonsolin underwent surgery in December. Since then, he could not walk and was confined to a wheelchair.
His nephew said Sabonsolin would see Abbu at least twice a week since December for his therapy. But still, Sabonsolin complained that he could not walk.
About 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Sabonsolin was scheduled for another therapy session at the PT Center of Sacred Heart located at the back of the hospital.
Sabonsolin was assisted by his helper, Renel Tanelon, 27, who started working for him five months ago.
Sabonsolin was not inspected by the security guard because he was a regular patient, said Ryan Aznar, property custodian and athletic director of Southwestern University (SWU). SWU owns and operates Sacred Heart Hospital. Both are located in the same compound at Aznar Road on Urgello Street.
There were at least five persons including the receptionist, at the PT Center where Abbu held his clinic and conducted the therapy sessions.
When it was Sabonsolin’s turn to see the surgeon, Abbu asked him how he was, said Tanelon.
Tanelon said his employer told Abbu that he still could not walk. But Abbu assured Sabonsolin that he eventually would be able to walk again through therapy.
Tanelon said Sabonsolin then pulled a .380 pistol that he tucked at his back and shot Abbu twice – once in the chest and another in the right arm.
A shocked Tanelon managed to ask Sabonsolin why he shot his doctor but Sabonsolin didn’t reply. Tanelon then ran for his life, fearing that Sabonsolin might turn his gun on other people. He was already outside the center when he heard another gunshot that Sabonsolin fired on himself.
Sabonsolin died on the spot, said Dacua.
Abbu was brought to the emergency room of the Sacred Heart Hospital but was declared dead at 10:30 a.m. by Dr. James Guardiaro and Dr. Ferdinando Kionisala, according to Chief Inspector Wildemar Tiu, head of the police station 2.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Center for Mental Health hotline at 0917-899-USAP (8727); (02) 7-989-USAP; or 1553 (landline to landline, toll-free).
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