Suspect in QC slay of elderly couple killed in police car scuffle

Rambo Talabong
Suspect in QC slay of elderly couple killed in police car scuffle
(UPDATED) Two suspects were shot dead in separate incidents – one in Quezon City and another in Marikina – while in police custody

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The suspect in the killing of an elderly couple in Quezon City was shot dead by a cop commander during a scuffle ensued in a moving police car on Wednesday, May 29.

Police reported that at around 6:40 pm, cops were returning suspect Carl Joseph Bañanola, 37, to the custody of the Quezon City police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit after he had undergone inquest.

“Suspect, who was grimacing in pain, requested from his escorts that his handcuff from behind be loosened as he was in pain,” police said in their report. (READ: How Genesis Argoncillo died, according to fellow detainees)

One of the cops near him, Police Staff Sergeant Alex Icban loosened the cuffs, but then Bañanola allegedly went for Icban’s firearm, starting a scuffle inside the moving police car.

The police commander sitting beside the driver, Lieutenant Colonel Rossel Cejas then drew his own gun and shot Bañanola “to disable him.” The cops rushed the wounded suspect to the East Avenue Hospital for treatment but he was pronouncd dead on arrival at 6:52 pm.

Just before noon on Wednesday, Bañanola was presented by cops in a news conference, saying that he was responsible to the killing of the couple Nicolas Austria, 86, and his wife Leonora, 87. The two were found dead and their helper injured with stab wounds in their home on Sunday.

The helper who survived the attack helped cops identify Bañanola, saying that he regularly delivered eggs to the Austrias’ home.

Also in police custody

Meanwhile, a drug suspect in Marikina was also shot dead while in police custody Wednesday morning.

The drug suspect identified as 38-year-old Arnold Lajom, a jeepney driver of Marikina City, died when he allegedly tried to grab the gun of a cop inside the police station.

Lajom and 7 other drug suspects were arrested during a buy-bust operation by the Marikina police Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and brought to the station around 6 am.

After the police reomoved his handcuffs Lajom lunged for the gun of Police Master Sergeant Dionese Salcedo of the Marikina DEU, resulting in a scuffle between the two. 

The police report said Salcedo’s gun accidentally fired during the scuffle and hit Lajom in the head.

Salcedo immediately surrendered his gun and is under restrictive custody while the incident is being investigated by the Eastern Police District. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.