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June 20, 2022

Family mourns attorney from Philippines shot on way to Philly airport

John Albert Laylo, 35, was killed when a gunman opened fire on the Uber he and his mother were riding in early Saturday morning in West Philly

Investigations Shootings
Laylo Shooting Philly Philippines Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

John Albert Laylo, an attorney from the Philippines, was killed in West Philly while vacationing with his mother, police said. Laylo and his mother were riding in an Uber to the airport early Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire on the vehicle.

The government attorney from the Philippines who had been vacationing in Philadelphia when he was shot and killed during the weekend is being mourned online by family members.

John Albert Laylo, 35, was a passenger in an Uber with his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, when he was struck in the head by one of the bullets that had smashed through the vehicle's window. The shooting happened around 4:10 a.m. Saturday along the 200 block of South 38th Street in University City.

The pair reportedly were headed to Philadelphia International Airport to take a flight to Chicago on their way to returning to the Philippines. On Sunday, Laylo's mother posted a message on Facebook recalling her last days with her son, whom she called Jal. The mother and son had traveled to Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia during their trip.

My last happy moments with my son Jal who passed away this morning at 10:33am EST time. I thank God for the 35 years of his life. I’m beyond grateful for having a good, smart, generous, loving, caring son these are the adjectives I can think of now. I’m lost of words! 

Before he left he made sure we had fun! But never did I imagine or dream that its almost the end of our vacation will be like this! We travelled together and we are supposed to go home together! I will bring him home soon in a box!

My son has a lot of dreams a lot of plans, hopes and everything! He’s gone now. 

I can’t explain the pain the heaviness I have in my heart. It took me hours to post this because still I can’t believe this happened!

Laylo's sister, Althea, who had tweeted updates about her brother's condition, on Sunday posted the news of her brother's death. She thanked supporters for their outpouring of support and prayers.

"No words can ever justify how appreciative we are for the love that you have extended," Laylo's sister said, according to the Manila Times. She added, "He was listening and was driven by all your prayers! His time on earth may have ended, but his legacy will live on forever."

Philadelphia police said a person in a black vehicle had fired multiple shots at the Uber with Laylo and his mother inside. The Uber had been stopped at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania's campus, investigators said. The gunman fled the scene. No arrests have been made and no weapons were recovered. 

Laylo was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and died Sunday morning.

The man and his mother had visited a cousin in Philadelphia and had only been in the Uber for a few minutes before the shooting took place. Investigators do not have a motive for the shooting, and detectives are reviewing surveillance video from the area to identify the car in which the shooter fled the scene.

Police didn't say if the Uber driver was injured in the shooting. Lalyo's mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, suffered minor injuries from glass fragments, Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato told CBS News.

Cato, who's based at the Philippine Consulate in New York City, visited Laylo at the hospital and told her that arrangements would be made to have her son's remains taken to the Philippines.

Most recently, Laylo worked as an attorney for the Makati City Board of Canvassers under Leni Robredo, vice president of the Philippines. Prior to working as a government lawyer, Laylo had been a legislative staffer in Manila for Sen. Leila de Lima, who offered condolences to Laylo's family and called him "a man of high energy and vibrant spirit."