An identified man who took his fellow bus passenger hostage was shot dead by a cop Thursday afternoon in Manila.
According to reports, the man held hostage a female student of Technological University of the Philippines while they were aboard a southbound HM Transport Bus traversing Taft Avenue.
Several witnesses, including the bus driver, said the suspect boarded the bus along Kalaw Street. They said the suspect appeared to be targeting to rob a fellow male passenger but the target got off the bus at Pedro Gil Street.
Frustrated, the suspect declared hostage. He grabbed one of the female passengers and threatened to kill her.
Cops from the Manila Police District (MPD) responded to the scene after being alerted by the bus driver and the conductor who fled the scene along with several other passengers who jumped out of the bus windows.
MPD Station 5 Superintendent Albert Barot said his men initially tried to negotiate with the suspect but when the cops saw the suspect poking the victim with what appeared to be a knife, “the final option was made.”
Senior Inspector Dionel Brannon went to the driver’s side of the bus and fired shots at the suspect.
“The police have to immediately act because there is already a threat to the life of the victim,” Barot said.
In an interview with GMA News, Brannon said it was a judgment call on his part.
“Nakita ko rin yung kutsilyo niya nakaabang. Doon nakita ko na in danger pa rin yung buhay ng biktima kaya nag-judgment call ako. Nakita ko yung opportunity. Nakita ko yung katawan ng suspect, yung kutsilyo hindi pa niya naibababa sa katawan ng biktima. Naputukan ko na po,” he said.
The hostage-taker was immediately rushed to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) but was declared dead on arrival.
The victim, who sustained minor injury, was also brought to PGH and was later subjected to stress debriefing.