NBI forensic team to assist in probe into Skyler’s death
FORENSIC investigators from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Central Office are expected to arrive to help in the probe into the death of a 4-year-old child who was killed by a stray bullet during a police drug operation.
NBI-7 Regional Director Patricio Bernales said the team will look into the possible trajectory of the stray bullet that killed Bladen Skyler Abatayo, who was inside his parents’ room at the second floor of their house in Sitio Bato, Barangay Ermita, last July 10.
Bernales said a trajectory test would certainly shed light on the real circumstances that led to the child’s death.
Senior Insp. John Kareen Escober, chief of the Carbon Police Station, earlier explained that four of his personnel were responding to a tip from a concerned citizen that four men were having a pot session at the second floor of an abandoned, dilapidated house adjoining the Abatayos’ home.
Escober said one of his personnel grappled with one of the drug suspects who was pointing a gun at them.
According to the police, the bullet that killed Bladen Skyler was from the gun of one of the drug suspects because his men never fired their guns.
But neighbors refuted this claim and said one of the police slipped while on the second floor of the abandoned house, causing his gun to fire.
The four policemen were subjected to a paraffin test last Thursday, July 12, about 48 hours after the incident happened.
They also submitted their firearms for ballistic examination.
Both tests turned out negative but the parents of Bladen Skyler doubted the results claiming that the police do not have the bullet that hit the child.
They also questioned why it took the police a long time to undergo a paraffin test when the results may no longer be reliable after a period of time.
Marc Anthony, Bladen Skyler’s father, also said the real bullet that killed his son was with the NBI.
Bernales confirmed that a bullet recovered from the crime scene is in their possession and will be subjected to tests.
“Yes, a bullet is with us now, but we have not subjected that to tests yet,” Bernales told Cebu Daily News in an interview.
Bernales said that they are also waiting for the results of the autopsy conducted by the police.
He said that their medico-legal officer has yet to decide if a second autopsy is needed.
Part of their investigation is the taking of sworn statements of witnesses, he added.
Bernales said they will coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in their investigation.
The four policemen were relieved since Friday, July 13, while independent investigations are ongoing.
The PNP and the Commission on Human Rights are also conducting independent probes.
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