A four-year-old boy was killed on Tuesday after he was hit by a stray bullet fired during an anti-drug operation in Cebu City.
Carbon Police Station 5 commander Senior Inspector John Escober identified the victim as Bladen Skyler Abatayo who was rushed to the Cebu City Medical Center.
Abatayo who sustained a gunshot wound on his chest was declared dead on arrival.
Escober said the station received a report regarding a group of unidentified drug personalities allegedly sniffing and repacking shabu in a shanty area in Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita.
“Bale nung pagdating ng mga officers natin sa area so sinilip nila yung bahay...sa second floor sinilip nila so nakita nila may apat na personalities, dalawa ang nagrerepack tapos dalawa ang gumagamit ng shabu,” Escober told GMA News Online.
A shootout ensued after two drug suspects who were allegedly repacking shabu tried to grab a gun from a policeman.
”May narinig silang putok ng baril coming from the suspects so biglang napatigil yung mga pulis natin tapos nagtakbuhan sa second floor yung mga drug personalities para makatakas,” Escober said.
The suspects were able to flee the incident as the police operatives were “unfamiliar” with the area.
“So hinabol ng mga police officers natin, due to unfamiliriaty sa area hindi nila naabutan yung mga suspects,” Escober said.
The police operatives then returned to the alleged drug den to conduct an inventory when they suddenly received a report that a child had been wounded following the shooting.
“May biglang report silang natanggap na may bata daw na nasugatan then dinala immediately ng police officer natin yung bata doon sa pinakamalapit...Unfortunately pagdating pronounced dead na yung bata,” Escober said.
Escober said that he was sure that the bullet that hit the child did not come from the police officers.
“Definitely hindi galing sa pulis natin, pero most probably galing sa mga drug personalities,” Escober said.
“Yung crime scene kung saan tinamaan yung bata ay pinaiimbestigahan na natin kung may marecover ba na slugs para maidentify ang firearm,” he added.
Escober said that a follow-up operation against the four suspects, who they have yet to identify, is ongoing. —NB, GMA News