CEBU, Philippines – A member of the notorious “Outlaws 1%” Motorcycle Gang in Cebu South succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body after he was gunned down by an assailant in front of his rented house in Sitio Poo, Barangay Balud, Dalaguete town on June 27, 2014 around 5 p.m. Thursday.
Stephen Ray Gornto, 53, married to Dahlia Gornto, of Tacosalma, Tarlac, was killed instantly after being shot several times.
He was rushed to the Julio Cardinal Rosales Memorial Hospital in Barangay Poblacion but was declared dead on arrival.
For now police are eyeing personal grudge as the motive behind the killing as Gornto had a fistfight with British national Andrew Featherstonehaugh, 53, of Barangay Manangal last week.
“We are not pinpointing Featherstonehaugh but he was out of the country since Monday, which also added to our suspicion,” Inspector Rico Emperwa, Dalaguete police chief, said adding that the wife of Featherstonehaugh was also no longer around when they conducted a follow-up investigation.
Just before he was shot, Gornto was standing outside his rented house waiting for a car dealer representative for a business transaction when the assailant arrived on board a Yamaha Mio motorcycle and shot the victim several times.
Emperwa said that assailant speed off towards Argao town after the incident.
Scene of the Crime Operatives of the Cebu Provincial Police Office inspected the scene and found 13 empty shells and a slug of unknown caliber.
Police said the way of the killing was executed, it appears to have been done by a hired killer.
Gornto’s cadaver was taken to the Lagahid Funeral Homes in Alcoy town for autopsy.
Emperwa told The FREEMAN that Gornto had a fistfight with Featherstonehaugh at Charito’s Dalaguete Bar and Grill in Barangay Poblacion in which Featherstonehaugh suffered injury in his right ear after he was allegedly hit with a sharp object by Gornto.
Before the fight both had an argument when they were both drunk.
But Gornto reportedly denied that he hit Featherstonehaugh with anything, he reasoned that Featherstonehaugh accidentally injured himself with his fingers during their fight.
The two later agreed to settle the matter at the police station and admitted a miscommunication had caused the fight.
Emperwa further said that Gornto arrived in Cebu two months ago and said that it was unusual that he could have an enemy in a short span of time.
“Kitang mga Pinoy di man kaayo ta manginlabot if dunay foreigner nga manuyo unya ang mga foreigner dili man sad ingon ana nga ma-involve na og lunod-patay nga kalagot bisan duha pa lang ka buwan,” Emperwa explained.
In Dalaguete, Gornto stayed in rented a house owned by Christian Akse while Featherstonehaugh has his own house in the town.
“Kanang naay mga event dali ra kaayo na siya maka-extend og monetary support like P300,000,” the police chief said.
It was the sudden disappearance of the couple that intrigued the police.
The Provincial Intelligence Branch sent a team yesterday to assist the Dalaguete police in the investigation.
Superintendent Rodulfo Albotra Jr., PIB chief, said they are now eyeing local gun-for-hire personalities. They are also looking into different angles in their investigation which he refused to disclose as of yet.