Home International News Philippine government lawyer shot dead in Philadelphia

Philippine government lawyer shot dead in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philippine officials on Monday mourned a government attorney fatally shot in Philadelphia and called for the perpetrator to be brought to justice.

John Albert Laylo and his mother were on their way to the airport early Saturday to board a flight when someone in a black car fired several shots at their Uber at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania, police said. Laylo was shot in the back of the head and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Sunday, police said.

Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato met Laylo’s mother in hospital and said she was slightly injured by glass splinters during the shooting.

It is not clear whether the Uber driver was injured. No one has been arrested. Authorities have not disclosed a suspected motive, nor have they said whether Laylo, his mother or the Uber driver were intentionally targeted. Homicide detectives are investigating and looking for surveillance footage.

The Consulate General of the Philippines said the victim was a government lawyer, KYW-TV in Philadelphia reported.

Cato said he assured Laylo’s mother that the Philippine government will help return his remains home. “We are also in contact with the police and have underlined the importance of our request to them to bring the perpetrator of this incident to justice,” Cato said in a statement.

Laylo, 35, had worked in Manila from 2016 to 2018 as a legislative staffer for opposition Senator Leila de Lima, then left to pursue graduate studies. “He was so young and still full of dreams,” De Lima said in Manila on Monday, expressing the hope that the suspect would be immediately held accountable “for the brutal and senseless act”.

Laylo’s mother posted on Facebook on Sunday that she had been on vacation with her son, whom she named Jal.

“I never thought or dreamed that… the end of our vacation will be like this!” Leah Bustamante Laylo wrote in a post accompanied by snapshots of her and her son touring sites in New York, Washington and Philadelphia. “We’ve traveled together and we’re supposed to go home together! I’ll be bringing it home in a box soon!”

Cato, who is based in New York, said the mother and son were on their way to Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight to Chicago and then fly to California on their way to Manila.

They were in Philadelphia to visit his cousin, and the shooting happened about five minutes after Laylo and his mother left his cousin’s apartment, Cato said.

Philadelphia, along with other major US cities, is experiencing a wave of gun violence. In a notable episode on June 4, a shootout in the South Street entertainment district about 3 miles from the shooting that killed Laylo left three people dead and several others injured.

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