Philippine officials on Monday were mourning a government attorney fatally shot in Philadelphia and called for the perpetrator to be brought to justice.
John Albert Laylo and his mother were heading to the airport to board a flight early Saturday when someone in a black car fired several rounds into their Uber at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania, police said. Laylo was shot in the back of the head and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday, police said.
Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato met Laylo’s mother at the hospital and said she was slightly injured by glass fragments during the shooting.
It wasn’t clear if the Uber driver was injured. No one has been arrested. Authorities did not disclose a suspected motive or say whether Laylo, his mother or the Uber driver were intentionally targeted.
Police say the investigation at this time shows the shooting was random, possibly road-rage related, CBS Philadelphia reported.
The consulate general of the Philippines said the victim was an attorney for its government, the station reported.
Detectives are currently attempting to retrieve surveillance video to identify the suspect vehicle, the station reported.
Cato said he assured Laylo’s mother the Philippine government will help in bringing his remains back home. “We are also in touch with police authorities and have underscored the importance of our request for them to bring the perpetrator of this incident to justice,” Cato said in a statement.
Laylo, 35, had worked in Manila as a legislative staffer for opposition Sen. Leila de Lima from 2016 to 2018 then left to take up graduate studies. “He was so young and still full of dreams,” de Lima said Monday in Manila and expressed hope the suspect would immediately be held to account “for the brutal and senseless act.”
Laylo’s mother posted to Facebook on Sunday, saying she had been on vacation with her son, whom she referred to as Jal.
“Never did I imagine or dream that … the end of our vacation will be like this!” Leah Bustamante Laylo wrote in a post accompanied by snapshots of her and her son touring sites in New York, Washington and Philadelphia. “We travelled together and we are supposed to go home together! I will bring him home soon in a box!”
Cato, who is based in New York, said the mother and son were on their way to Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight to Chicago, then were to fly to California en route to Manila.
They were in Philadelphia to visit his cousin and the shooting happened about five minutes after Laylo and his mother left his cousin’s apartment, Cato said.
On Facebook, Laylo’s mother posted photos of happier times on their trip to the United States.
His mother in a post said in part: “I can’t explain the heaviness I have in my heart. It took me hours to post this because I still can’t believe this happened.”
Philadelphia, along with other large U.S. cities, is experiencing a surge in gun violence. In one notable episode June 4, a gun melee in the South Street entertainment district, about 3 miles from the shooting that killed Laylo, left three people dead and several others injured.