SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union- A provincial jail guard, seated inside his service vehicle, was shot dead by an identified gunman at a parking lot in front of the Marcos building along Francisco Ortega highway here.
Supt. Bryant Demot, officer-in-charge of the city police station, identified the victim as Jonathan A. Casuga, 39, a resident of Barangay Masicong but living in Barangay Sevilla here.
In a statement to the police, a witness to the shooting– Casuga’s fellow jail guard– said that the victim was aboard the provincial government vehicle Toyota Hilux, when the assailant approached and shot him three times.
Another jail guard who owns a sari-sari store nearby, said that he saw the gunman in a white shirt hopped aboard the back seat of a Honda TMX motorbike driven away towards the north by a companion along Lucero street.
It was learned that Casuga was waiting for his fellow employees who were due to report that day for work at the provincial jail, a few kilometers away from the scene of the crime.
“It appears that the killer followed Casuga’s regular routine for a number of times and chanced upon the opportunity to shoot him,” Inspector Vanessa Gabot, police information officer, told media men.
She added that they were looking for possibilities of work and family-related causes as motives for the killing.
It was not known whether Casuga had a family and why he was living in Barangay Masicong.
Casuga suffered a .45 caliber pistol gunshot wounds on his right eye, neck and shoulder, and died at the nearby Bethany Hospital. Two deformed slugs were recovered at the crime scene .
Gabot noted that the shooting happened after the election gun ban was implemented last Jan. 10, when a massive awareness campaign to the effect was launched and cops were patrolling and manning checkpoints.
Authorities are now conducting operation for the possible apprehension of the suspect or suspects and also looking into the possibility that the killing was election-related since Casuga was a relative of of Loreta Casuga,the incumbent Masicong barangay captain in this city. By ERWIN G. BELEO and WILLIAM JUN GARCIA / northboundasia.com