AN anti-crime raid in a depressed area in Zamboanga City erupted into a shootout between police and a number of gunmen early morning Tuesday and leaving four men dead and one officer seriously wounded, Police Regional Office 9 director, Brigadier General Jesus D. Cambay Jr. said yesterday.
Shot in the head during the encounter was Staff Sergeant Larry Balasabas, the leader of a police team from the Zamboanga City Police Station 9 who conducted the raid in Purok 6 in Barangay Recodo at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, the Western Mindanao police director said.
Cambay identified the slain suspects as Patti Abdurahim, Tato Saliento, Jamiri Abdurahim and Abdulbakil Abdurahim, all of legal age.
The official said the police team was about to serve a warrant of arrest for murder issued against one Nurhassan Jalao by a local court in the area when the latter and his heavily-armed cohorts opened fire at the officers who were about to enter his shanty hitting SSgt. Balasabas in the head.
The lawmen returned fire killing Abdurahim and Saliento. However, Jalao managed to escape on foot towards the interior part of Purok 6 where he shot the 40-year old father of Patti Abdurahim identified as Jamiri and his other son Abdulbakil,20, after bumping into the two while he was fleeing and reportedly mistaking them for policemen.
Cambay said SSgt. Balasabas remained in critical condition at the Ciudad Medical in Zamboanga City where he was rushed for treatment.
Recovered at the scene of the shootout were one caliber .45 pistol, one cal. .38 pistol and several loaded magazines and a hand grenade.
Cambay said a Jalao, the subject of a warrant of arrest for murder issued on August 17, 2018 by the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court Branch 32 has long been the subject of a police manhunt.
He said Jalao, along with Patti Abdurahim and one Silvin Jallao were also recently linked to a shooting incident in the city last August 6.
On the other hand, Jamiri Abdurahim also turned out to be the subject of a pending warrant of arrest for murder.
Cambay said a massive manhunht has been launched by the local police to arrest Jalao who was tagged as ‘armed and dangerous’ prompting officials to order officers to exercise extreme caution once they happen to track him down in his hiding place.