FOR almost an hour, Nathaniel Velarde, 47, held the life of his family in his hands. The man who had lost his job due to COVID, locked up his six victims in a room and threatened to stab them. For several terrifying minutes, he played a bizarre God —- and decided if he will let his loved ones live or not.
Velarde was shot to death when he tried to stab a responding cop in the middle of negotiations Sunday night in Marikina City.
Reports from the Marikina Police station said Velarde was killed on the spot after sustaining two gunshot wounds in his body.
Capt. Fernildo De Castro, Marikina Police Investigation chief, said the almost one-hour hostage drama occurred at around 6:20p.m. at the two-storey house of Velarde on No. 18 ,Block 7 Lot 9, 32nd Ave, Balubad Settlement, Bgy. Nangka , Marikina City.
According to Fernildo, the suspect encountered problems and possibly became “psychologically unstable” after losing his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fernildo said prior to the incident, a 15- year-old girl was celebrating her birthday that day when Velarde grabbed a knife and held the six victims hostage.
“Pagkakuha daw ang kutsilyo, inutusan yung anim na miyembro ng pamilya nya na umakyat sa taas sa second floor ng bahay at doon na sila ikinulong at pinagbantaan na sasaksakin ,” the police official told Journal Group.
One of the members of the family managed to send text messages to Bgy. Nangka officials who immediately called the police.
An eight-man team of the Marikina Police Special Weapon and TActis (SWAT ) tried to convince the suspect to surrender peacefully.
However, Velarde refused and even threatened to harm his hostages. .
“Tumagal na ng 30 minutes ang negotiation, ayaw pa rin sumuko nun suspect, Nag-decide na yung SWAT na pasukin sya sa bahay,” said Fernildo.
SWAT teams led by Police Corporal Dexter Flores climbed to the roof of Velarde’s neighbor in order to enter the suspect’s house.
When Flores was inside the house, he saw Velarde acting nervously and holding a knife. Six members of the hostage-taker’s were sitting at the corner of the room.
“Nagkaroon pa ng ilang ilang minutong stand-off pinakiusapan ulit ni Flores yung suspect na sumuko,” said Fernildo.
However, Velarde attacked the negotiator with his knife and the two scuffled.
The suspect was shot after he tried to stab a cop repeatedly.
When the hostage-taker slumped bloodied on the floor, other members of the SWAT team took the victims out of the house and rescued them safely.
Velarde’s family revealed he had been acting strangely and it was not the first time suspect took a knife and threatened them.