ROAD RAGE SHOOTING IN CEBU
Police on a hunt for a scion of a prominent Chinese Cebuano family who shot and wounded a nurse over a traffic altercation
A scion of a prominent Chinese Cebuano family is now being pursued by the police in a road rage incident that saw him firing his gun at least three times and wounding a male nurse following an altercation along F. Sotto Street, Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City at around 3 a.m. on Sunday.
David Lim Jr., along with a female companion, was seen in a video fleeing the scene on board his Mercedes Benz after he repeatedly shot and wounded Ephraim Montalbo Nuñal, 33, a nurse working for University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMed) located at the North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City.
Up to early evening on Sunday, authorities refused to name Lim as the shooter until shortly before 10 p.m. when Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña began posting a series of photos on his Facebook page showing him leading a group of Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) policemen from the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) raiding the home of Lim in posh Maria Luisa Subdivision despite the absence of a search or arrest warrant.
The mayor said he was taking responsibility for ordering the raid.
“For the record: the judge has refused to issue me a warrant of arrest. I have ordered SWAT to execute the raid on David Lim’s house. I accept all legal responsibility,” Osmeña said in his post.
However, Lim was not around. One photo showed the mayor talking to Lim’s father, David Sr., at the living room of the Lim residence, in the presence of armed SWAT men.
Barely two weeks ago, on March 4, David Sr. also figured in a speeding car incident along the Archbishop Reyes flyover near the Cebu Business Park in Cebu City that killed 26-year-old motorcycle driver Philip Pugoy, a fish vendor.
David Sr., the younger brother of controversial Cebuano businessman Peter Lim, was reported to have left the accident scene on board another vehicle, supposedly to seek medical treatment, leaving behind Pugoy.
In David Jr.’s case, a 48-second video of the incident taken by another motorist and posted on Facebook led police to the younger Lim.
Before the Osmeña-led raid, police also visited his home in Maria Luisa but were told he was not around.
CCPO Investigation and Detection Management Branch (IDMB) head Chief Insp. Ryan Devaras said they also went to the condominium of David Jr. in Winland Tower but he was not there as well.
Earlier yesterday, after the video went viral, the still-unnamed gun-wielding man was identified by some netizens as David Lim Jr. But police then refused to conclude it was Lim in the absence of formal statements from the victim and witnesses.
But SPO2 Rommel Bancog, homicide investigator of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) handling the case, said that once the suspect is identified, he will face frustrated murder charges before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.
The video showed the young man firing at Nuñal at least three times, before he fled with his female companion, said to be a Filipino-Japanese in her 20s.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, Osmeña announced on his Facebook page that the perpetrator has been identified without naming him.
He then offered a P100,000 reward “for any solid additional corroborating information in regards to the road rage incident involving a nurse in F. Sotto this morning.”
“Contact Councilor Tumulak or CCPO Homicide Division at 032 266 5494,” the mayor added in his Facebook post, which came hours after the CCPO announced a hot pursuit and after failing to find the shooter.
Tumulak, interviewed by phone yesterday, said they were they still trying to negotiate with suspect’s family for the latter’s surrender, even as he, at that time, also declined to name Lim Jr. as the suspect.
For Nuñal, it was a fun night that ended in a nightmare.
Nuñal was bringing home his friends past 3 a.m. on Sunday after attending a party when a Mercedes Benz in front of him was seen crisscrossing the narrow two-lane road on F. Sotto Street in Barangay Kamputhaw before stopping in the middle of the road.
The suspect and his female companion stepped out arguing when Nuñal decided to honk his horn to call the attention of the driver to park his car properly so they could pass through.
But instead of moving his Mercedes Benz (plate number UWI 731), the man confronted Nuñal and kicked the latter’s car, a Toyota Altis.
“The man went out of the car and was very angry. I also went out of the car and told him to move and not to block the way,” he added.
The man, who appeared drunk and whose face flushed angrily, tried to punch Nuñal, but the latter managed to parry the blow. Frustrated, he went back to his car, got his gun and shot Nuñal several times, hitting him twice — one on the left thigh and the right ankle — before he boarded his car and sped off with his companion.
Nuñal said he didn’t see the gun at first because his view was blocked by the woman who was pleading to the man to calm down. The man, however, brushed the woman aside and pointed his gun at Nuñal before shooting him several times.
“Nibarog ra gyud ko. Wala ko kita nga nagdala na siya sa iyahang pusil kay natabunan siya sa babaye. Didto nako kita nga naa siyay pusil sa pag-isa niya sa kamot and shot me (I was just standing there. I didn’t see that he had a gun because he was blocked by the woman. I only saw the gun when he raised his hand and shot me),” Nuñal said.
Although wounded, Nuñal grabbed his phone inside the car and took a photo of the plate number of the Mercedes Benz as it sped off.
Nuñal identified the man as David Lim Jr. after he was shown by Cebu Daily News a photo of the sports car racer that was forwarded to the newspaper’s website after the video of the shooting was posted and went viral.
The photo, which showed Lim and a girl smiling and seated next to each other, was reportedly taken from a party allegedly attended by Lim and his girlfriend a few hours before the incident.
Lim was in Barong Tagalog while a young woman beside him wore the same dress as the woman in the road rage video. The man in the video had a Camisa Chino on, an undershirt worn under a Barong Tagalog.
The police later recovered two slugs of a .22 caliber pistol and a live ammunition from the crime scene.
Unknown to both Nuñal and shooter, a motorist took a video of the incident. The same motorist took Nuñal to the hospital because none of the nurse’s two companions knew how to drive./with Ador Vincent S. Mayol and Edison delos Angeles