By Bohol Chronicle
Out of despair, a businessman shot and charred his wife and two children inside their burning car in a secluded road in Dampas district, this city yesterday morning that shocked this deeply religious community.
Police investigators believed bankruptcy of his lending firm pushed the 36-year-old businessman, James Co, to avoid a foreseen misery.
Police recovered a handwritten suicide note at his residence last night which said "my death is not a regret. Now I see the price to pay which I cannot afford to run and hide." He also left a note addressed to someone at St. Peter's Funeral Home.
According to an eyewitness interviewed by the police, Co shot his wife, Cindy, 37, who was inside the car, and got out to close the car hood. He then got back inside the car and shot his two children, 10 and 5 years old before finally shooting himself.
The car was already burning then.
The incident happened yesterday morning along the road in sitio Banairan of barangay Dampas, this city, about five kilometers from their house on Penaflor Street in barangay Booy, this city.
The Chronicle learned last night that James texted his friend identified as Carlos at 10:41am yesterday saying "sumting hapen to us. Pls pray for our family." A minute later, he also texted a staff of the St. Peter Funeral Homes informing of the said incident.
Scene of Crime Operatives (SOCO) led by SPO2 Andres Garcia of the BPPO crime laboratory found that all the four bodies were already charred along with the car.
Further investigation showed that the car was a blue Nissan Sentra model 2,000 with plate number WME 194. Deeper probe into the incident is carried out by the Tagbilaran City police with PO1 Reyneil Bibat, investigator on case, at the helm.
The family's house-help, Baby Jane Lapot a native of Dumaguete City told investigators that the couple seldom had any quarrel.
She said she noticed Co had been lonely since his lending business had slowed down. She was surprised why Co forced his 10-year old child board the car when the latter was sick yesterday.
An eyewitness told the police that few minutes before the incident they saw the couple had an argument while the car was running.
Witnesses heard three successive gunshots.
Then the gun fired again. This was the time the man shot himself inside the burning car.
The SOCO recovered a plastic soft drink bottle that was filled with gasoline, and a 9mm pistol, an empty shell.
Co who used to operate the Tagbilaran General Merchandise (TGM) was a known patron of basketball teams in the city. He was a popular personality during basketball tournaments being a basketball player himself. He manages the TGM Team. After his merchandising firm folded up, he ventured on a lending firm which also encountered financial crisis.
The Chronicle learned that Co was indeed financially broke when he pawned his motorcycle last December when one of his kids was hospitalized.