2 brothers shot dead in Punta Princesa

TWO brothers, who both worked as seafarers, were killed by a lone gunman inside a cafe and bar in Barangay Punta Princesa on Saturday dawn, Jan. 27.

Homicide investigator SPO1 Winston Ybañez of the Cebu City Police Office said that they are focusing on two angles--love triangle and personal grudge--behind the killing of brothers Nick Benzen, 25, and Neil Brian Ong, 28.

“The only target was the younger brother. The gunman, in his hoodie, approached Nick and asked for a lighter. After that, he then shot the victim first. We believe that he only intended to kill Nick,” Ybañez said.

According to witnesses, the gunman, who was wearing a grey hoodie, ordered two beers from the counter.

The brothers were drinking in a corner when the other customers heard a shot. Nick slumped on their table. After seeing his brother fall, Neil went outside to chase after the gunman.

He was shot twice about 50 meters away from where his younger brother lie lifeless.

Fatal pursuit

Nick and Neil were seafarers.

“The bullet went through Nick’s head while Neil succumbed to two gunshot wounds in his chest when he chased the fleeing gunman. The suspect then boarded his motorcycle and drove away,” Ybañez said.

Investigators are looking for close-circuit television cameras, which may have captured the incident.

“The gunman drank two beers as if to steel himself before doing the crime. The waiters said that the gunman was covering his face and seemed scared when asked prior to the shooting so he’s not a professional (gun-for-hire),” Ybañez said in Cebuano.

Investigators recovered four empty shells of a 9mm from the scene.

The Ong brothers’ friends expressed their sorrow on social media.

“They don’t have any enemies. I’m so shocked,” one of Nick’s friends, who requested anonymity, said.

Friends and relatives of the victims are demanding justice for the siblings’ death.
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