'Martilyo Gang' strikes at SM Mall of Asia


Posted at Mar 30 2014 08:25 PM | Updated as of Mar 31 2014 10:55 AM

 MANILA -- (UPDATE 3) An employee of an ice cream kiosk was reported hurt in the shooting incident inside the SM Mall of Asia Complex at past 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The victim, who sustained a grazing wound, was brought to the hospital for treatment, Director Erwin Villacorte of the Southern Police District said.

One of the suspects, identified as Ryan Wansiawan, 23, from Cotabato, was arrested inside the mall. A caliber .45 was recovered from him.

According to Villacorte, the suspects targeted the jewelry counter of the SM department store, which is located at the ground floor of the mall. One of the suspects fired his gun, which caused the commotion.

Villacorte believes that there were around four to six suspects involved in the incident but that the other suspects have already left the building..

But the police have yet to confirm whether they are members of the Martilyo Gang.

However, a mall executive pointed to the notorious gang as behind the incident.

Steven Tan, senior vice president for mall operations of SM Supermalls, identified the Martilyo Gang in a tweet message. "At 7:14pm this evening the martilyo gang had struck a jewelry counter at The SM Store in MOA. The police are already present in the area to conduct a thorough investigation. The mall is working closely with the pnp to resolve this," Tan posted on the SM Supermalls official Twitter account,

Amor Virata, a shopper, said in a radio interview that she was inside a store near the mall's south wing when people suddenly panicked and ran towards the exit at around 7:30 p.m.

Virata also said she saw a man running while holding a gun, prompting them to hide.

"At about 7:30 p.m., kasalukuyang nasa bilihan ako ng blouse ng biglang nag-panic, nagtaklbuhan o nag-stampede sa kinalalagayan ko may nakita kami lalaki na tumatakbo may hawak na baril," she said in an interview over radio dzMM.

Security guards have prohibited people from going near the perimeter of the mall's main building.

Police have cordoned off Pacific Drive at MOA Complex following the shooting incident. -- report from Eric Dastas, Ricky Velasco, and Junry Hidalgo, DZMM

23-year-old Ryan Wansiawan, one of the suspects in a shooting incident inside the SM Mall of Asia on Sunday. Photo by Michael Dastas, DZMM