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Doctor-Patient Tragedy: Orthopedic Surgeon killed by wheelchair-bound Patient

24 Jul

Dr. Cris Cecil C. Abbu succumbed to two gunshot wounds after being shot by wheelchair-bound Wilfredo Sabonsolin inside the PT Center of the Sacred Heart Hospital at the Southwestern University Compound in Urgello, Cebu City.   He was hit in the arm and the chest. The fatal shot was the one that hit the left side of the doctor’s chest with the bullet piercing through his heart.  Dr. Abbu was rushed to the emergency room of the hospital but the doctors were not able to save him and he was declared dead at 10:30 a.m by attending physicians James Guardiaro and Ferdinand Kionisala. After shooting the victim, the assailant shot himself in the head. The bullet entered his left temple and exited in his right temple killing him on the spot while on his wheelchair.

Wilfredo Sabonsolin was a patient of Dr. Abbu  since 2010.  He was suffering from a spinal injury.  He was operated 4 times by the surgeon and the last operation was in December of last year.  The patient was confined to a wheelchair ever since the last operation.  The two meet at least twice a week for check up and therapy sessions.

Fatal Check up/ Therapy Day 

Sabonsolin rode a taxicab and arrived at around 9:30 a.m. at the Southwestern University compound.  He proceeded to the PT Center at the back of the Sacred Heart Hospital accompanied by his helper Rene Tanelon.  Based on the investigations, the security guards of the SWU compound were not as strict in inspecting  his belongings because he has been a regular patient in the medical facility that is managed by the Aznar family. The patient was scheduled for a therapy at 9:45 a.m. According to his helper, when it was Sabonsolin’s turn, he was greeted by the orthopedic surgeon and asked how he was doing.  The patient answered that he can not walk.  The doctor tried to assure him that regular therapy will help him regain his ability to walk. Then, tragedy happened.

The patient suddenly pulled out a .380 caliber pistol from his sling bag.  His first shots misfired as the responding police investigators found two bullets on the floor in their initial investigation.  His next two shots hit the doctor in the right arm and the chest. One of the bullets also ricocheted to the ceiling of the clinic. The helper was stunned when he saw his employer shoot the doctor and he asked why did he do it.  Sabonsolin did not say a word then, the helper out of panic ran towards the exit because he was scared that the assailant would also shoot him. When he was outside the facility, he heard another gunshot.   It was the shot that claimed the life of the shooter. Three empty bullet casings were recovered on the scene of the crime.  The police is investigating the real motive of the crime and also if there were security lapses on the side of the hospital.

Dr. Cris Cecil Abbu is survived by his wife Dr. Amelia Escobar Abbu.  He earned his Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Laws degrees in SWU.  |He is connected with the hospital and has been a faculty member College of Medicine and College of Rehabilitative Sciences of the university for almost 20 years.

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