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Notorious gunman named suspect in bar fight killing in Cebu City

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | April 24,2024 - 06:22 PM

notorious gunman

This is the area where a man was shot dead by an unidentified gunman along Pelaez St., Barangay Kalubihan, Cebu City at past 2 a.m. today, March 6. | Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A notorious gunman was tagged as one of the suspects in the killing of a man outside a bar along Pelaez Street in Barangay Kalubihan, Cebu City last March 6.

The assailant, who’s allegedly been involved in multiple shooting incidents, was finally apprehended last week in Barangay Pahina Central after months of extensive manhunt.

The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Arnel Gomez, a resident of Barangay Pahina Central in Cebu City.


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Gomez is accused of shooting Joseph Esconde Ybañez, a 32-year-old native of Dalaguete, Cebu, resulting in his untimely demise.

Ybañez was a renter in Barangay Santo Niño, Cebu City who made a living by working at a printing shop.

At around 2:10 a.m. on March 6, a lifeless Ybañez was found lying on the ground after being shot by two assailants onboard a motorcycle.

The victim was reportedly drinking with several companions inside a bar when his group engaged in a fight with another group of customers. After exiting the establishment, Ybañez was shot and killed by the side of the road.

According to Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, Deputy Director for Operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), there is a possibility that a member of the group he was fighting with called the assailants for backup.

During the follow-up investigation, police identified Gomez and an acquaintance as the ones responsible for Ybañez’ death.

Rafter said that the notorious gunman was apprehended by police through the implementation of a total of three warrants of arrest against him for previous cases dating back to last year.

She relayed that police served two warrants of arrest for murder against Ybañez for two separate shooting incidents on May 4 and October 12, 2023.  Another warrant of arrest for a charge of frustrated murder was issued against him for a different incident on July 22, 2023.

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Last March 6, police have also filed another case against him for the murder of Ybañez. This means that there is another pending warrant of arrest against Gomez, according to Rafter.

Rafter also disclosed that Gomez is known as a notorious gunman whom the police have been hunting since last year. Gomez, however, was able to evade arrest multiple times.

As of this writing, police have already tallied a total of 5 shooting incidents in Cebu City that were perpetrated by Ybañez.

Rafter added that the circumstances of the incidents where he is involved suggest that the suspect was motivated by personal reasons.

Despite this, police personnel will be conducting an investigation to determine whether Gomez is a gun-for-hire personality in Cebu City.

According to Rafter, the second suspect behind the shooting of Ybañez was Gomez’ close acquaintance and partner in crime. As of this writing, authorities are still on the hunt for the second suspect whom they refused to name.

Meanwhile, Gomez remains detained at the custodial facility of the Cebu City Police Office.

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TAGS: bar killing, Cebu City, Gunman, shooting

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