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Filipino lawyer shot in Philadelphia dies

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Filipino lawyer shot in Philadelphia dies
John Albert Laylo (C), 35, poses with his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo (L) in front of a Philly sign in Philadelphia in the US.
Leah Bustamante Laylo

MANILA, Philippines — The 35-year-old Filipino lawyer who fell victim to a shooting incident while on vacation in Philadelphia, US has died, his family said Monday morning.

John Albert Laylo passed away Sunday at 10:33 p.m. Philippine time after being “badly hit” in the head, his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, said on her Facebook account.

“My son has a lot of dreams, a lot of plans, hopes and everything! He’s gone now,” the elder Laylo wrote. “I can’t explain the pain the heaviness I have in my heart. It took me hours to post this because still I can’t believe this happened!”

Leah said she sustained three shrapnel wounds, but her son was critically injured in yet another shooting in the US, where regulations on the purchase and use of firearms are loose.

“I can’t feel the physical pain due to shrapnel. What I feel is the pain that you left me, us, your family!,” she said.

‘Alive and beating’

Philippine Consulate General in New York Elmer Cato said John was hit in the head by one of six bullets fired at the vehicle he was sharing with his mother.

Cato said that Laylo and his mother were on the way to the airport to catch a flight to Chicago at around 4 a.m. when someone shot at the Uber they were in.

On Twitter, John’s sister Althea Laylo said their family were told that her brother had less than 5% chance of surviving, but they clinged on to hope that he would still live after the shooting.

“Miracles are starting to happen. He squeezed my mom’s hand 3 times and started mildly breathing on his own,” Althea said around an hour before John died.

In a succeeding tweet, Althea also announced the death of her brother, who would be donating his organs.

“My brother may no longer be with us, but I shall find peace in the thought that at least somewhere in the world, a piece of him is alive and beating,” she said.

‘Exceptional, brilliant man’

She then appealed that the public remember his brother as a “brilliant man” who is “nothing short of exceptional.”

John’s Facebook profile shows that he went to top schools in the Philippines, having attended Makati Science High School, and having taken political science at the University of the Philippines – Diliman, law at the De La Salle University and Masters of Laws in International Business Law at Central European University.

A post he shared from CEU’s Student Recruitment Office revealed that he was the legal manager of multinational telecommunications infrastructure company Desarrollos Terrestres and was teaching business law in Philippine universities.

Beyond his stellar credentials, his mother Leah, said he was a “good, smart, generous, loving [and] caring son” who made sure they had fun while on vacation in Philadelphia before passing on.

“Before he left he made sure we had fun! But never did I imagine or dream that it’s almost the end of our vacation will be like this! We travelled together and we are supposed to go home together! I will bring him home soon in a box!” Leah said.

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