Killed American is 5th victim since December

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    ANGELES CITY – Police authorities here admitted that the American tourist who was shot dead at about 4:40 a.m. here last Thursday was the second foreigner to be killed by still unknown assailants so far this year.

    City police director Senior Supt. Pierre Bucsit identified the latest victim as Jerry Melton, 51, an American who arrived in the country only last Tuesday. He is also the 5th murder victim since December.

    Melton’s fatal shooting came in the wake of  Mayor Francis Nepomuceno’s order to the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO), headed by  Bucsit, “to  increase police visibility and intensify the campaign against crime in the city” following the killing last Saturday of Barangay Pulung Maragul chairman Edilberto Cayanan in his own barangay.

    SPO3 Romeo Amarillo of police station 4 said Melton was the second foreigner to be killed so far this year within his jurisdiction. He said that last January, a German tourist was also shot dead in his rented apartment in Barangay Plaridel I.

    Only last Feb. 3, Joven Deala, half brother of Black Eyed Peas band celebrity singer Allan Pineda, known as Apl.de.ap, was also shot dead in Barangay Ninoy Aquino here.

    In November last year, Australian executive Ivan Royal Brown, 65, of Bentleigh Court, Australia, was also shot dead while driving in Barangay Cutcut here.

    Many other foreigners have been either shot dead or held up by criminals in this city in the recent years.

    Bucsit admitted to Punto that no suspect has been arrested in all the recent cases, but added that he expected arrests to be made within a week at least in the case of Cayanan and Deala.

    Bucsit said Melton was shot at about 4:30 a.m. last Thursday by motorcycle-riding men while he was walking near a vacant lot between Euro-Asia Hotel and Lewis Grand Hotel. Already wounded, the victim was able to walk to the latter hotel to seek help, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Angeles University Foundation Medical Center.

    “We are still at a loss on his case since no one among the local American community knew him. He arrived in the country only two days earlier and the culprits who were on board a blue motorcycle did cart off any of his belongings,” he said.

    Bucsit said that police probers have already contacted Melton’s alleged girlfriend working at the Savannah bar here.

    Amarillo noted, however, that Melton has already apparently traveled to Olongapo, as indicated by a calling card marked Blue Rap beach in his wallet.

    Bucsit said that some of the recent killings here indicated hired killers were involved. “We seem that we share similar problems with Tarlac where such cases have also risen, and there are indications that the hired killers are from Nueva Ecija,” he added.

    Nepomuceno has directed the city’s peace and order council to immediately draw a plan to curb the killings, saying “the government will not be cowed and will pursue this campaign at all cost, to give Angelenos  lasting peace and order which they deserve.”

    Bucsit said, however, that the killers are not from this city but from neighboring areas. “That’s why our operations have already extended beyond the boundaries of Angeles, “he added.


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