A Filipino lawyer was shot in the head in Philadelphia while on his way to the airport, the Philippine Consulate General in New York said Sunday.
The victim, identified as John Albert Laylo, was with his mother to catch their flight to Chicago when their car was fired upon with six bullets.
One of six bullets struck Laylo, 36, in the head.
His mother suffered slight injuries due to glass fragments and was taken to a hospital.
Elmer Cato, the Philippines’ Consul General in New York, clarified earlier reports that Laylo died from his head wound.
He said Laylo is still alive and on life support.
Laylo’s sister, Althea, said in a separate tweet: “We were told he only had less than 5% chance of surviving. But now, miracles are starting to happen. He squeezed my mom’s hand 3 times and started mildly breathing on his own. Thank you so much for the prayers and I am begging you all to please keep praying. He was undergoing a test to confirm if he is brain dead, but he responded.
He will be having another test in an hour, please stand with us in prayer. Miracles are real.”
His mother, Leah, said in a Facebook post: “Just want to make clear my son is still ALIVE & hanging on!!! What ever news you heard or read it’s all false!!!! Just wait for my post! Ako ang tunay na nakaka alam ng lahat!!! Let’s storm heaven with prayers! Nothing is impossible with God! Claiming miracles to happen!”
Incoming Department of Migrant Workers secretary Susan Ople, who was also erroneously informed that Laylo has died, asked for prayers that the young lawyer may survive.
Fox 29 reported that at least seven shootings early Saturday morning in Philadelphia left five injured and two dead, including “a 36-year-old [who] was killed after being shot multiple times throughout his body, according to police. He was found on Lancaster Avenue around 1:30 a.m.”
The incident was reported by Ople to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.
“We are also in touch with police authorities in Philadelphia who informed us that the case is being investigated and that no arrests have been made so far. We call on authorities to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice,” Cato said.
Cato’s deputy, Armand Talbo, went to the hospital and met with Laylo’s mother and other relatives.
“I was able to talk to her and assured her of DFA and Philippine Consulate’s support,” Cato said.
In previous interviews, Cato always reminded Filipinos in the US to stay vigilant as hate crimes against Asians are getting more frequent.
Several Filipinos in New York have been attacked for no reason, some pushed down the stairs of subway stations or hit with hard objects.
Forbes.com reported on June 10 that 22 mass shootings already took place in the US this year.
“Violent gun deaths spiked by 35 percent in 2020 and homicide numbers – which are shootings in 80 percent of cases — remained just as high
in 202 as they had been in the previous year. Mass shootings of any kind also experienced a peak in 2021 — 77 were recorded by Gun Violence Archive — while 2020 proved to be an about average year,” Forbes wrote.