An American was shot dead in Silay City, Negros Occidental, Tuesday evening while his 5-year-old son was waiting in his vehicle that was parked nearby.
The victim identified as Erik Norman Hendrickson, 57, of Wisconsin, United States, was declared dead on arrival at the Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, Supt. Noel Polines, officer-in-charge of the Silay City Police Station, said yesterday.
Hendrickson, who was temporarily residing at Loney Burgos in Brgy. Mambulac, Silay City, succumbed to two fatal gunshot wounds in the head and in his left arm, Polines added.
The immediate response of the Silay City police to the shooting incident led to the arrest of the two suspects identified as Gilbert Apellido, 40, of Brgy. Concepcion, Talisay City, and his nephew, Neil Brian Corseno, 18, of the Brgy. Mambulac, Silay City.
Polines said that a .38 caliber revolver with a live ammunition and five empty shells that had been used in the shooting of Hendrickson were also recovered yesterday in the place, about 50 meters away from the crime scene.
The arrest of the two suspects was made by the Silay police, about five minutes after the commission of the crime.
Polines said the shooting incident at a bar in front of the old Jose Locsin Memorial Hospital in Brgy. 5, Silay City, was triggered by drunkenness.
Hendrickson was shot three times by the suspect, the police said.
Polines described the incident as “senseless” as the victim had passed by in the area, with his 5-year-old special child, to buy a bottle of beer, which was a routine activity for him , before going home.
His assailant reportedly asked the American to buy him drinks and when he refused he was badmouthed in Ilonggo. Hendrickson, who speaks conversational Ilonggo and understood what was said, was then shot.
Polines said Apellido, who confessed to the crime, was drunk, when he shot Hendrickson, after he was told to stay away from him.
Polines said they have three eyewitnesses who saw the shooting of Hendrickson by Apellido.
Murder and Comelec gun ban charges are now being readied by the Silay police against Apellido and his nephew, Corseno, who are now both in jail.
Lorenzo Lopez Locsin, a friend of Hendrickson said the American was a professional portrait photographer who is married to Vicky, a Silay resident, who works in Wisconsin. She is in the United States and is set to return home.
Meanwhile, their 5-year-old son is staying with relatives.
Locsin described Hendrickson as a very nice person who had adopted to the Ilonggo way of life. When he first met the American several months ago he told him that his son needed speech therapy, Locsin said.
Hendrickson would always strike up a conversation with people by saying “Mayung gabi, ako si Erik, Ilonggo ako (Good evening, I’m Erik, I’m Ilonggo), Locsin said.
“He planned to bring his son to the US. But he wanted his son to grow up with Filipino values and culture. To know his roots and history. He wanted his son to be respectful of his elders, to be kind and loving and helpful to others. And that, in order for him to do so, he first has to become one, he had to become an Ilonggo dad,“ Locsin said.
The boy who did not speak and could barely make eye contact a few month ago with the help of his father was of late initiating conversation with kids his age, he added.
Locsin said he rushed to the boy’s side on hearing that his father had been killed.
“That shy boy who barely spoke... with his father’s accent, without a hint of shivering in his voice, said Tito Enzo, they killed my dad,” Locsin said.
Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Nasser Canja, Sipalay City police officer-in-charge, said yesterday that they have some “persons of interest” who may shed light into the killing of of Teunis Van Dalen, the 79-year-old Australian, who was found dead on May 12 at his residence in Brgy. Mambaroto, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.
The body of Van Dalen was already in the state of decomposition, when discovered at the living room of his residence, Chief Inspector Nasser Canja, officer-in-charge of the city police, said.
Van Dalen was buried the next day, with the consent of his live-in partner and family, Canja said.
But he refused to give details in the motive for the killing.
Police investigations showed that there was forcible entry to the house of the victim, and that a commotion had taken place.
Based on the result of the post-mortem examinations, Van Dalen succumbed to a lone stab wound in the chest, he added.*GPB/CPG
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