Police investigators said they already have “leads” in the killing of 24-year old graphic artist Ryan Ray Merencillo.
Friends of the victim however said they are not satisfied with the police investigation.
Merencillo was shot in a popular drinking spot in barangay Capitol Site, Cebu City early morning of March 25 this year. He died of complications from the gunshot wound in his abdomen last April 1.
Merencillo, a native of Bukidnon province in Mindanao was a third year Advertising student of the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus (USC-TC).
Senior Insp. Jul Jamiri of the Homicide Section of the Cebu City Police Office said the Land Transportation Office (LTO) already provided a list containing 16 names from the plate number provided by the witness.
“We are still looking for the possible owner of the vehicle (silver Honda car) that was used by the suspect,” Jamiri said in Cebuano.
“We will compare it with the cartographic sketch that we have.” Jamiri said.
A friend of Merencillo who witnessed the crime however said the police cartographic sketch is unreliable.
“Not close to the face of the gunman,” said the witness.
The witness, also a graphic artist said they will provide the police a “clearer” sketch of the suspect within this week.
Police said Merencillo was drinking with two friends in a convenience store in barangay Capitol Site.
Cebu Daily News is witholding the names of Merencillo’s friends who were with him during the shooting incident, for security reasons since the suspects are still at large.
The witness told Cebu Daily News that they had an altercation with a group composed of two men and two women who were seated at a table next to theirs.
The witness said the group arrived in a silver Honda car.
A few moments after their arrival, one of the men in the other table smashed a bottle and hit Merencillo who fought back.
The other man went to the car to get a gun and poked it on the head of the witness who pleaded “Wala man mi nanghilabot bai” (We didn’t do any harm, dude.).
The man then withdrew the gun from his head and instead fired on Merencillo.
The witness said the security guard in the convenience store ran away from the scene.
“Wala jud ang guards. Even after Ryan was shot, walay nitabang namu from the store. But a jogger who passed by assisted us in bringing Ryan to the emergency room of Cebu Doctors Hospital just across the street,” Merencillo’s friend said.
A former teacher of Merencillo called on police to arrest the suspects.
“No excuses, the police’s job is to find the suspect,” said Marie Tabotabo, a former teacher of the artist. /Rhea Ruth V. Rosell, Correspondent