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Cop shot while chasing drug suspect

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — A police officer was shot and severely wounded while chasing a suspected drug peddler in Norzagaray, Bulacan on Wednesday night.

Patrolman Patrick Ronel Estrella, a member of the Norzagaray police, was with other members of the Norzagaray Police Intelligence and Drug Enforcement Unit on board a vehicle and conducting surveillance and monitoring against a suspect identified as Dengdeng Tumalad involving his illegal drugs activities when the incident occurred.

When the authorities spotted Tumalad standing along a lighted post with something suspiciously tucked in his waist, Estrella alighted from the vehicle to approach but the former ran away.

While being chased, Tumalad opened fire against the operatives and entered his house on Blk-30, Unit 8, Phase 1, NHV, Bgy.Bitungol, Norzagaray.

Estrella entered the suspect’s house but was shot in the neck.

A brief exchange of gunfire ensued between Tumalad and the lawmen. Although wounded, the suspect still managed to hide in the wilderness.

After more than 17 hours, the suspect was arrested with the help of a concerned citizen who discovered him. But while on the way to the hospital, on board the patrol vehicle, the wounded suspect tried to escape and jumped out of the mobile patrol vehicle and fell into the creek. He was recovered from the creek and brought to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Estrella was rushed to the hospital where he is still fighting for his life as of press time.

While I always remind my men to be safe in the performance of their duties, we still cannot avoid being put in harm’s way. May this send a message to all that we are committed in our waging war against illegal drugs and we will continue to be relentless in our campaign at all costs,” said PRO3 director Brig. Gen. Valeriano De Leon.

Meanwhile, De Leon also ordered for the conduct of a deeper and thorough investigation to fast-track the solution of a shooting incident victimizing a policeman.

Last Thursday, Staff Sgt. Mark Levy Palilio of the San Leonardo Police Station, was in front of his beauty product store located along Maharlika Highway in Bgy. Sangitan West, Cabanatuan City when he was shot to death by still unidentified motorcycle-riding suspect wearing a black jacket and red helmet.

We strongly condemn the senseless killing of our policemen and we will not stop until we have put them in jail,” the PRO3 chief said.