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Filipino government lawyer fatally shot while vacationing in U.S.

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A government attorney for the Philippines was fatally shot in a car on the way to the Philadelphia International Airport over the weekend, police said.

John Albert Laylo, 35, and his mother, Leah Bustamante Laylo, had been vacationing together in Philadelphia on Saturday, before heading to the airport in an Uber car. When the car they were in stopped at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania, a person in a black vehicle behind them fired into their vehicle, the Philadelphia Police Department said in a news release.

The black car then pulled up beside theirs and fired several more rounds. Laylo was shot in the back of the head and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning, according to police.

His mother said in a Facebook post that she was wounded by shrapnel. It’s unclear whether the driver, who was working for Uber at the time, was injured.

Police said officers responded to the scene about 4 a.m. Saturday. It’s unclear whether the shooting was a targeted or random attack, and the investigation is ongoing. As of Monday afternoon, police had not made arrests or identified a suspect.

Elmer Cato, the Philippines’ consul general for New York, urged Philadelphia police to “do everything to bring [the] perpetrator to justice” on Twitter on Sunday.

Cato said Sunday that he visited Leah Laylo shortly after her son had died.

“I said a prayer for him and assured him that we will do everything we can to bring him home as soon as possible,” Cato tweeted.

In her Facebook post on Sunday, Leah Laylo shared photos from the trip, writing that they show her last happy moments with her son.

“We traveled together and we are supposed to go home together!” Laylo said in the post. “I will bring him home soon in a box!”

Leila de Lima, a senator in the Philippines, said on Facebook that John Albert Laylo had served on her legislative team for two years.

“He was so young and still full of dreams,” she wrote.

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As with many cities across the United States, Philadelphia has seen a surge in homicides and gun violence recently. Last year, the city set a record for homicides.

This year, up until Saturday, there had been 1,939 shooting incidents in the city — a 7 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Between May 23 and Saturday, there were 349 shootings, according to weekly data from the Philadelphia Police Department, an increase of just below 5 percent from the previous month.

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On Monday, an Uber spokesperson told NBC10 Philadelphia that the company had been in communication with the employee who had been driving Saturday. The company added that it would cooperate with the investigation.

“The violent attack that took Mr. Laylo’s life is heartbreaking and our thoughts are with his family during their time of grief,” the spokesperson told the outlet. “We hope the police are able to quickly arrest those responsible.”

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