A Philippine government attorney was fatally shot while riding in an Uber with his mother on their way to the airport in Philadelphia, police said.
Prosecutor John Albert Laylo, 35, and his mom, Leah Bustamante Laylo, were heading to Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight home from a vacation in the US when gunfire broke out around 4 a.m. Saturday, police said.
Police said someone in a black car fired several rounds into the victims’ Uber at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania, striking Laylo in the back of the head.
The gunman then moved to the driver’s side and fired additional shots before fleeing.
The Philippine official was rushed to Penn Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:33 a.m. Sunday. His mother was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds from shattered glass, according to Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato and Bustamante Laylo.
“Never did I imagine or dream that … the end of our vacation will be like this!” the mother wrote in a post accompanied by photos of her and her son happily posing up at landmarks in New York, Washington, DC and Philadelphia. “We travelled together and we are supposed to go home together! I will bring him home soon in a box!”
Cato said the mother and son were going to catch a flight to Chicago and then were to fly to California en route to Manila.
The shooting happened about five minutes after Laylo and his mother left the apartment of his cousin, who they had been visiting, Cato said.
As of Monday, no arrests have been made in Philadelphia, which has been experiencing a wave of gun violence. Investigators did not reveal a suspected motive, or say whether Laylo, his mother or the Uber driver were intentionally targeted.
The consulate general of the Philippines confirmed the victim was a government attorney, KYW-TV reported.
Cato said he assured Laylo’s mother the Philippine government will help in bringing his remains back home.
“We are also in touch with police authorities and have underscored the importance of our request for them to bring the perpetrator of this incident to justice,” Cato said in a statement.
Laylo had worked in Manila as a legislative staffer for opposition Sen. Leila de Lima from 2016 to 2018 then left to take up graduate studies at Central European University, where he graduated in June 2019 with a degree in international business law.
“He was so young and still full of dreams,” de Lima said Monday in Manila and expressed hope the suspect would immediately be held to account “for the brutal and senseless act.”
Laylo’s mother wrote on Facebook Sunday of the heartbreak of losing her “good, smart, generous, loving, caring son,” whom she referred to by his family nickname, Jal, in such a violent manner.
“I’m lost of words!” Bustamante Laylo wrote. “My son has a lot of dreams a lot of plans, hopes and everything! He’s gone now. I can’t explain the pain the heaviness I have in my heart. It took me hours to post this because still I can’t believe this happened!”
With Post wires