John Albert Laylo, a government attorney for the Philippines, was fatally shot on Saturday, while riding an Uber in Philadelphia.
The New York Post reported that the 35-year-old prosecutor and his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, were on vacation in Philadelphia when the shooting occured. They were headed to the Philadelphia International Airport to board a flight back to the Philippines.
At a press conference, Philadelphia authorities told outlets that a black car had stopped beside the victim’s car at a traffic signal, and fired into the windows, injuring both John Albert Laylo and his mother.
According to Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato, both victims were transported to Penn Presbyterian hospital, John Albert Laylo for gunshot wounds, and his mother for shrapnel from broken glass. John Albert Laylo was pronounced dead at 10:33 am on Saturday.
The case is under investigation, but Philadelphia authorities have not yet released the identities of any potential suspects. The Washington Post reported that officers believe the murder was a case of mistaken identity.
All there is to know about John Albert Laylo
According to ABC, John Laylo was an esteemed attorney in Manila, Philippines. He had worked as a legislative staffer for Senator Leila De Lima from 2016-2018, before pursuing a graduate degree in International Business law at Central European University. He graduated in 2019.
In a Facebook post, his mother said that he had been a kind and compassionate man.
“My son has a lot of dreams a lot of plans, hopes and everything! He’s gone now. 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!”
She also said that the shooting had brought a horrifying end to what had been an enjoyable vacation in America.
“Never did I imagine or dream that … 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!”
Rising gun violence in Philadelphia and other American cities
According to CNN, the murder of John Laylo is one of many gun-related homicides in Philadelphia, which have risen significantly in the past few years. The Office of the Controller Website has recorded 230 murders in Philadelphia this year.
As per CBS, Philadelphia remains one of the 20 deadliest cities in America, with a homicide rate of 22.47 per 100000 people. According to Brookings, a number of studies indicate that most homicides and violent crimes in America largely take place in disadvantaged minority neighborhoods suffering from gang culture.
While Philadelphia still has an issue with gun violence, this year has seen an 11% decrease in homicides as compared to 2021, which saw an unprecedented surge in crime across several American cities, including New York and Chicago.