A MAN suspected of being a drug addict was shot dead after he attacked four persons in Barangay Paril, Cebu City yesterday.

He was identified as 27-year-old Erickson Malate.

PO1 Junray Tagalog of the Talamban Police Station said he had no choice but to fire at Malate because the latter was trying to stab Jemarie Lanza, 21, several times.

Malate was a caretaker of a farm owned by Jemarie’s father George, who died a few days ago.

Before he was shot, Malate reportedly had gone amok and attacked three other persons with a flower vase.

Odd behavior

SPO4 Alex Dacua, a homicide investigator, said the incident happened during George’s wake.

“There was a lot of people in the Lanza house because they’re relatives were visiting for the wake,” Dacua said.

Malate was reprimanded by Jemarie’s family last Wednesday night when tried to disturb visitors.

They thought he was drunk, Dacua said.

At 10:30 a.m. yesterday, Malate reportedly started breaking beer bottles and entered the Lanza house.

Other victims

Dacua said Malate began shouting, grabbed a flower vase and hit the head of Salome Erana, 56, who was in the living room.

Erana is a relative of Jemarie’s father and hails from Compostela, Cebu.

Isidro Wagas, 71, who was with Erana, tried to pacify Malate but he, too, was stabbed with a shard from the broken vase. He suffered stab wounds in his stomach and bruised hands.

Malate also allegedly stabbed Leo Lanza, 46, and bit his arm, after the latter tried to help Wagas.

Leo, who is Jemarie’s uncle, suffered injuries in the hands, arms and back.

Everyone rushed outside, while Jemarie tried to pacify Malate.

He allegedly grabbed her and brought her into one of the rooms.

“Malate held her by the neck and wouldn’t let her out of the room,” Dacua said.

Malate, who was still holding a vase shard, allegedly threatened to kill Jemarie.

“The room has a big window and we could see them from the outside,” Dacua said.

Talamban police and barangay tanods arrived and asked Malate to release Jemarie.

Although Malate made no demands, he refused to let Jemarie go.

Dead on the spot

Tagalog reportedly could see him stab Jemarie through the window so he shot Malate.

Dacua said Malate, who was hit twice, died on the spot.

Jemarie, who struggled with Malate, was wounded in her back and left hand.

Leo who had minor injuries stayed in the barangay, while Jemarie, Erana and Wagas were taken to the North General Hospital.

Malate’s body will be autopsied.

In another development, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Noli Romana has ordered the creation of fact-finding group to investigate policemen from the Talamban Police Station who are allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

He said the group will be composed of chosen police officers and a member of the Police Coordinating and Advisory Council.

He said the group will verify and assess the allegations against some of the policemen.

Low morale

“As much as possible they can get testimonies from the residents so that the allegation could stand. Hindi puro hearsay lang (Not just hearsay),” Romana said.

He said they will provide security to those who can give them credible information on the matter.

Talamban Police Chief Bienvinido Miral said he welcomes an investigation so they can clear their names.

“Our morale at the station is very low because we don’t know who among us are allegedly involved in illegal drugs. In fact, the matter has affected those policemen who are trying to do a good job,” Miral said in Cebuano.

He admitted that he was hesitant to accept the transfer to Talamban because he knew about the rampant drug problem in its area of jurisdiction, particularly in Barangay Pulangbato.