Blood on Halloween

Dawn of 31 October, a few hours before the witching hours of Halloween, a killer walked behind his target in Building 15 inside Aroma Compound in Tondo, Manila.

For Erickson Israel, 18, the last thing he probably saw was his playing cards while attending a friend’s wake. A gunshot rang and Israel slumped into his chair — dead ­ — shot at the back of his head.

The alleged gunman, identified by witnesses as Rico Canapin alias “Ikong,” disappeared into the dark and is now being hunted by operatives of the Manila Police District (MPD).

With his friend whose wake he attended, Israel will be among those who will be remembered by loved ones on All-Saints’ Day today as Filipinos troop to cemeteries to offer flowers and light candles.

According to SPO2 Lester Evangelista of the MPD Homicide Section, Israel’s unscheduled trip to the afterlife was attended by treachery and apparent premeditation by the gunman.

The killing happened at 4:20 a.m. of Wednesday at the wake of one Ralph Catayo, Evangelista added.

The victim was with his live-in partner Mary Rose when Canapin, a resident of Gawad Kalinga also in Aroma Compound, arrived and suddenly fired at the back of the head of Israel.

An old grudge was cited by witnesses as possible motive of the killing.

Meanwhile, the MPD Traffic Enforcement Unit said it will implement a traffic re-routing scheme within the vicinity of the Manila North Cemetery starting at 10 p.m. last night.

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