By Jhon Aldrin Casinas and Jel Santos
The gun allegedly used in the killing of former bowling national team member Angelo Nathaniel Constantino was found at the basement parking area of E-Lanes Bowling Center in Greenhills, San Juan, police said on Saturday.
“At 1 a.m. today (Jan 12), we retrieved what we believe is the weapon used to kill Mr. Contantino. It was left by the gunman near the entrance of the parking basement of the establishment,” Senior Superintendent Dino Reyes, San Juan police chief, said.
The gun – a .45 caliber pistol – was loaded, prompting police to theorize that the gunman disposed it before he exited the parking area.
Constantino, who won a gold medal in the World Youth Championship in Venezuela in 1992, was taking his snacks at around 5 p.m. Friday when a man wearing a surgical mask and cap approached him, pulled out a gun from his sling bag, and shot him in the head thrice at a bistro on the second floor of the E-Lanes Bowling Center, which he manages.
“Ano siya… nagme-merienda siya kasi coach siya, bowling coach siya sa place na ‘yun (Constantino was having a snack [in the bistro]. He was a bowling coach there),” Reyes said.
Reyes said Constantino was declared dead-on-the spot by the city rescue team of San Juan.
Four spent shells were seized at the crime scene.
Reyes said the suspect entered the building through the basement parking area where no security guard was posted. He apparently avoided enterin the ground floor entrance, where a security guard is posted.
“The suspect managed to enter [the building] using the basement parking entrance… without guard dun (where no security guard is posted),” Reyes said.
Senior Police Officer 3 Marcelo Mariñas, case investigator, suspects the hitman is a gun-for-hire.
“Sa tingin ko, gun-for-hire ito… at kabisado niya itong area (I think, he [suspect] is a gun-for-hire… and I think he is familiar with the area),” Mariñas said.
Mariñas said that at the bistro, the gunman posed as customer and even asked for the menu from the counter. Shortly after, he shot Constantino.
The suspect walked a few steps away, then shot the victim again before pointing the gun to the bistro service crew. He then fired shots in the air, prompting the service crew to scamper away for their safety.
The gunman then casually walked away toward the basement parking area and fled.
The police are now conducting a follow-up investigation to identify the suspects and establish the motive of the killing.
Police said Constantino was the general manager of the bowling center and had acted as bowling coach.
The family of Constantino declined to comment on the killing, saying police are still investigating the incident.