Policemen yesterday snatched to safety a five-year-old boy after an allegedly deranged man held him at gunpoint in an hour-long hostage drama in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The chilling standoff seen on netizens’ phone videos vied for the attention of millions of Filipinos who watched Catriona Gray “kill the competition” on live television en route to being crowned 2018 Miss Universe.
The suspect, Dominador Abrillo, 38, dragged his young hostage “Jayson” by the neck across a street outside the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) campus as police snipers positioned themselves for any eventuality.
With the sweet victory of Gray in Thailand miles away came the news that the police eventually averted bloodbath in Manila by convincing Abrillo to lay down his gun and surrender.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head Director Guillermo Eleazar told reporters that Abrillo claimed to have “lost his mind” when he learned that his brother, an overseas Filipino worker, was killed in a police operation in Clark, Pampanga.
Seven persons, including the suspect who sustained a gunshot wound in the shoulder, were hurt in the incident. The six others were wounded by stray bullets.
The hostage-taking started when Abrillo grabbed the 9mm pistol of security guard Johnrel S. Jabonillo detailed at the Philippine National Railway Sta. Mesa station.
Abrillo then fired indiscriminately before running towards PUP where he grabbed “Jayson” and used him as a human shield, raising doubts on his claim of insanity.
The boy, who showed courage during the incident, was rescued unharmed, but he will be subjected to medical and psychological care due to the trauma he went through.
According to Manila Police District (MPD) chief Senior Supt. Vicente Danao, the hostage-taking incident started at 9:47 a.m. at the PNR Sta. Mesa station along the Anonas Extention.
Elements from MPD Sta. Mesa Station (PS 11) quickly responded to the incident after the first report of gunfire was Twitted and posted on FB by netizens.