TWO unidentified men shot to death a former police officer and wounded a graduating architecture student who was about to buy a ballpen on Tres de Abril St. in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City yesterday morning.
Homicide investigators identified the fatality as ex-PO3 Roy Nudalo Tolentino, who succumbed to two gunshot wounds in the chest and neck.
A bullet grazed the neck of Kenneth Jone Garcia Homeres, a graduating student of architecture who was then rushed to a private hospital in Cebu City and released later.
SPO2 Rommel Bancog said that the police are looking at different angles related to Tolentino’s murder, including the possibility that he was involved in illegal activities.
Bancog said Homeres, a native of Leyte, was not the target of the assailants.
Investigators found two empty shells of a .45 pistol and a slug at the crime scene near the rear gate of a university.
Tolentino, 41, was dismissed from service on April 29, 2014, after he went absent without official leave (Awol) from the Mobile Patrol Group on July 1, 2013.
The former policeman came from Mandaue City Police Office, before he was transferred to MPG in late 2012.
Supt. Renato Dugan, Police Regional Office 7 regional personnel and human resources development division chief, said Tolentino joined the police force on Sept. 16, 1996.
Bancog said that Tolentino brought his child to school at 7 a.m.
A video from a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera showed Tolentino driving a motorcycle.
The assailants, who were also on a motorcycle, were following Tolentino. Both wore helmets and black jackets.
The video, however, failed to capture the shooting.
Bancog said that they will tap the expertise of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 in enhancing the video, so they can read the license plate of the assailants’ vehicle.
The police are also looking for other CCTV cameras that may have captured the faces of the culprits.
A member of the MPG said Tolentino may have gone Awol when he became depressed over his wife's death.
“He was good police officer because he liked to crack jokes. But he changed a lot when his wife died,” said the MPG patrolman who asked not to be named.
Dugan said Tolentino did not commit derogatory acts when he was still in service. He said that most police officers went Awol because of personal and financial problems. (With NSU AB Comm Interns Edwardo R. Almazan and Gizelle T. Onrejas)