New Year shooting: Stray bullets down 2 kids
Ten minutes after midnight, Malou Gaces’ 10-year-old son, Joven Earl Gaces, asked for permission to step out of their house at Barangay 35 in Maypajo, Caloocan City, to watch New Year fireworks with his friends.
But the Grade 5 student of Kasarinlan Elementary School was outside for barely five minutes when he and his schoolmate, Grade 4 student Princess Denise Cruza, 10, were hit by stray bullets fired by two men who were shooting each other.
The two children were rushed to hospital and their mothers were fuming mad over what happened.
“At first I thought the gunshots were just firecrackers,” Lorna Alinbon, the girl’s mother, said in an interview on Monday. “Had I known that they would get shot on New Year’s Eve, I would not have let her out.”
The boy is in critical condition.
Police arrested Isagani Ancheta, 38, after he was beaten up by residents for hitting the children as he was exchanging gunfire with Gil Galapuz, 27.
Galapuz was rushed to Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Santa Cruz, Manila, with gunshot and knife wounds in the shoulder.
In an interview, Ancheta said Galapuz, a known thug in Barangay 35, started the fight.
He was walking along Sawata Road, he said, when Galapuz confronted and throttled him.
He fought back and the fight became a chase with an exchange of gunfire through Block 2, he said.
PO1 DeoJoe Dador, investigator on the case, the two children were hit as the two men fired at each other.
A witness said Ancheta also had a knife, which he used in the fight with Galapuz.
Pistol, knife and ‘shabu’
Recovered from the scene were Ancheta’s Glock 17 pistol and knife, a cell phone, several ammunition, and a sachet of “shabu” (crystal meth).
Ancheta insisted that he used the gun, which he claimed he borrowed from a friend, to defend himself.
He denied owning the shabu, though text messages on his phone around that time indicated a drug transaction, Dador said.
Dador said police would bring frustrated murder, illegal weapon and drug charges against Ancheta.
Witnesses said Galapuz also fired at Ancheta, but police found no gun on him.
PO1 Mark Julius Pajaron, another investigator on the case, said Galapuz was being treated as a victim until his full involvement in the fight could be determined.
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