Tacloban City: A Municipal Trial Court Judge of Northern Samar who survived an ambush in May this year succumbed to a single bullet from a gunman who shot him at close range inside a cockpit arena in Pambujan town late Sunday afternoon.
Judge Reynaldo Espinar, 53, was at Padcor Cockpit arena in Brgy. 8, with his security escort identified as Wilfredo Sarominez, when the suspect came close and shot him at the back of his head.
Espinar, presiding judge of Laoang MCTC, died on the spot, while the gunman reportedly died from multiple gunshot wounds in the body after Sarominez, a retired military man, fired shots at the fleeing suspect.
The local police are conducting a thorough investigation over the motive of the killing and the identity of the dead suspect described to be in his early 20s medium built and dark complexion.
PNP Region 8 spokesman P/Chief Insp. Mark Nalda said the firearm recovered from the dead suspect was a calibre .9mm Glock pistol similar to that issued to the members of the PNP bearing Serial Number CHH78 was immediately turned over to the police investigators handling the case. While the firearm of Sarominez, a Colt Automatic M1911 A1 calibre .45 pistol bearing Serial Number 121100 was likewise turned over to the Pambujan Police.
On May 18 this year Espinar was riding a motorcycle on his way to Catarman, Northern Samar for a meeting when waylaid by two assailants also on motorcyle along Brgy. Burabod. Luckily, he was wearing a bullet proof vest that saved him.
Espinar has told the police that he had been receiving several death threats in connection with some of the cases he was handling.