Three dead in shooting before law school graduation in Philippines

Philippine police investigate area related to a shooting incident at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City on Sunday. Photo by Rolex Dela Pena/EPA-EFE

July 24 (UPI) — Three people were slain, including a former mayor, before a law school graduation Sunday in Quezon City in metro Manila, the capital of the Phillipines, in what authorities said may be a targeted shooting.

The incident occurred at Ateneo de Manila University at 2: 55 p.m. local time. Quezon City Mayor Belmonte said Chao Tiao Yumul is in police custody but the National Capital Region Police Officesuspect named the suspect as Ramil Nicomedez y Hermo of Bulacan.

Manila police said the assailant was armed with two pistols.

“I confirm that the suspect commandeered a vehicle inside Ateneo and drove toward Aurora Boulevard so we caught him on Aurora Boulevard,” Quezon City Police Department Director Brigadier General Remus Medina wrote in a statement to CNN Philippines.

Basilan Gov. Jim Hataman-Saliman said former Lamitan Mayor Rose Furigay did not have any enemies.

“Hopefully, the authorities get the real motive because it appeared that she was really the target of the shooting,” Saliman said in a statement.

Furigay was declared dead on arrival at the World Citi Medical Center and daughter, Hannah Uy Furigay, was being treated.

“It was sad to the family and its was sad that her daughter [would be] graduating because she was there to attend the graduation rites. We hope that justice will be rendered and the ones who was behind this crime will be unmasked.

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo was supposed to be the guest speaker at the ceremony, and was on the way to the campus when the shooting occurred.

Ceeremonies were canceled. The Loyola Heights campus will be open for its regular operations on Monday but the Arete complex , where the shooting occurred, will be closed until further notice, the school posted on Twitter.

There was a gun ban that was supposed to take place last week.

“We are shocked and saddened by the events at the Ateneo graduation today,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. posted on Twitter. “We mourn with the bereaved, the wounded, and those whose scars from this experience will run deep.

“We commit our law enforcement agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate these killings and bring all involved to justice.”