ILOILO City – A young man shot dead the woman he was courting and the latter’s boss at a computer shop in Barangay Atabay, San Jose, Antique yesterday morning. Three others were shot, too, but survived.
Venom Dio Vergara, 22, ran away after the shooting but was arrested by pursuing policemen. He yielded a .9mm pistol.
The shooting happened at around 7 a.m. minutes after the computer shop opened, according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Mark Anthony Darroca, San Jose police chief.
Shop manager Irvin James Checa, 30, and cashier Ana Anacleto, 24, died of gunshot wounds on their heads.
Police were charging Vergara, now detained at the San Jose police station, with murder, frustrated murder, direct assault, and frustrated homicide.
The three others wounded were Checa’s older brother Stephen Louie, a broadcast journalist and correspondent of Panay News; Police Staff Sergeant Cyril Valdevieso and Police Staff Sergeant Albert Talidong.
From what the police so far gathered, minutes before the shooting Vergara confronted Checa regarding the computer shop manager’s supposed relationship with Anacleto.
Checa denied this and Vergara left, but only to return to the computer shop moments later with a gun and threatening the shop manager and Anacleto.
Vergara’s family owned a water refilling station adjacent to the computer shop.
According to Stephen Louie, he alerted the police and rushed to the shop to pacify Vergara after getting a call from his brother.
Vergara, however, shot Stephen Louie then fired at the younger Checa and Anacleto.
He also shot the two responding policemen. Valdevieso was hit on the right hand and Talidong on the right foot.
“He shot me first, then my brother and his cashier,” Stephen Louie told Panay News. “Nagduko ko para makalikaw. I was hit on my left shoulder.”
According to San Jose police chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Mark Anthony Darroca, “After shooting the victims, the suspect ran toward a rice field. Our police officers chased him and there was an exchange of gunshots.”
Vergara was hit on a leg. He was taken to the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital for treatment then released for detention at the San Jose police station.
An hour after the shooting, Vergara’s father Melvin turned over to the police station a shotgun, another .9mm pistol, bullets for .45 pistol, .9mm pistol and shotgun.
Darroca said the turned over firearms and the pistol recovered from Vergara upon arrest all have expired registrations.
Stephen Louie and the two wounded policemen were also taken to the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital for treatment./PN