A MEMBER of the police's Regional Highway Patrol Unit (RHPU) was killed while another was wounded in a brief shootout with an armed driver on board a "suspicious" vehicle along Matersons Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City, Thursday afternoon, December 6.
Killed was Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Sergs de Constantine Maceren while his colleague, Senior Police Officer 2 (SPO2) Lindy Baltazar, was wounded.
Initial investigation disclosed that the two have flagged down the suspect’s Hyundai Accent vehicle with questionable plate number when they were suddenly fired upon by the driver.
A brief shootout ensued.
The two were rushed to a private hospital in Barangay Carmen.
Police said Baltazar was hit on his left shoulder and was reportedly stable and responsive while Maceren succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound to his chest and was declared dead hours after fighting for his life.
Investigators identified the suspect as Abdulrahim Adilao of Pampanga. He sustained a gunshot wound on his left armpit and was brought to JR Borja General Hospital.
The suspect's female companion is under the custody of the police. Authorities have yet to determine the exact number of passengers on board the vehicle.
Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said the gunman may have fought back against the authorities in a legitimate operation resulting in the armed encounter.
"Dili ni normal nga shooting incident kay it happened during an operation kung asa ang mga armed suspect nisukol ug nakigpinusilay sa ila," Hortillosa said.
Hortillosa said suspects will likely face murder and frustrated murder charges.