A woman, who was sitting with her minor daughter at the “ukay-ukay” bazaar in front of the Bacolod City Hall, was injured when the bullet fired by a policeman ricocheted off the ground and hit her at about 4p.m. yesterday.
Senior Insp. Lester Leada, Station 1 chief, identified the victim as Jasmin Villacruel, 35, of Brgy. Tangub in Bacolod.
The bullet hit the right side of Villacruel's stomach and she was rushed to the Bacolod Adventist Medical Center, Leada said.
An off-duty policeman of Station 1, Senior Police Officer 1 Dave Dollosa, said he saw two men stealing goods from a Mitsubishi L300 van parked in front of the JT Marketing at Luzuriaga-Araneta streets in Bacolod.
When Dollosa approached the van, the suspects ran, but one of them was arrested after a brief chase and identified as Edmund Pajila, 40, of Brgy. Singcang-Airport, also in the city, Leada said.
Pajila pulled out an ice pick and attempted to stab Dollosa, while the other suspect returned and drew a bladed weapon, a police report said.
Dollosa, who was still fighting off Pajila, pulled out his gun and fired a warning shot, Leada said.
Dollosa, who was about to go home after he bought a glass from the store, said he only responded to the call of duty when he saw two men stealing items from the van.
Leada said that under their standard operating procedure, policemen are not allowed to fire a warning shot in public places, but he said Dollosa fired the gun as he was grappling with a thief.
Recovered from Pajila after his arrest were a 12-inch long ice pick and 12 boxes of assorted Christmas lights worth P1,896, that were placed in a plastic bag, police records show.
Pajila, who admitted that he stole the Christmas lights, told the DAILY STAR that he did the crime because of poverty.
Leada said they are still identifying the other suspect who escaped, but charges for theft and violation of the Commission on Elections gun ban were being readied against Pajila, who has previous records of theft, he added.*SGG