CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A police officer in the Misamis Oriental town of Initao was killed in a grenade explosion that also wounded 11 others, including another police officer, inside a college campus on Thursday.
Police Master Sgt. Jason Magno, 46, a member of the Initao municipal police station, died along with Ibrahim Basher, 65, the carrier of a hand grenade that exploded in the covered court of Initao College.
Ten students were injured and brought to the hospital, along with Magno’s colleague, Sgt. Alice Balido, who was rushed to a hospital in Cagayan de Oro City.
A 55-second amateur mobile phone video from one of the witnesses showed that Magno and several other police officers negotiated with Basher, who was reported by school authorities as creating trouble inside the campus.
However, things escalated when policemen tried to grab Basher in an attempt to disarm him, but the latter managed to throw out the grenade.
The ensuing panic, as seen in the video, showed students running away as Basher was about to throw the grenade. The last seconds of the video saw Basher and Magno grappling on an item, with Magno running to the explosion area, most likely in an attempt to throw it somewhere safe.
It was not clear if Basher also died because of the explosion, as one police officer pulled out a gun as soon as the grenade exploded, as seen in the video.
Police Capt. Princess Joy Velarde, information officer of Provincial Police Office in Misamis Oriental, said Basher was a resident of Madamba, Lanao del Sur.
Basher was identified through an identification card found in his pocket.
Velarde said Basher, who was apparently troubled, was coming from the office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Initao before the incident happened.
“The truck he owned was flagged after DENR personnel saw some questionable logs it carried,” she said.
She also said that the grenade’s pin was found in the DENR office, about 800 meters from the college where the explosion happened.
“Inside the DENR office, he (Basher) already ran amok. The personnel ran towards the college covered court. That was when he pursued them where he planned to throw the grenade on them,” Velarde said.
She said Magno, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Initao, died while being treated in a hospital in Initao.
Brig. Gen. Rolando Anduyan, director of Police Regional Office 10 (Northern Mindanao), appealed to the public to pray for the recovery of Balido and the other wounded victims.
“The suspect is in his mid-60s. Other information about him is still under investigation. The students are slightly wounded except for one. Let’s include her on our prayers,” Anduyan said. (PNA)
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