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Philippines government lawyer shot dead in Philadelphia Uber, Mayor blames guns

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An attorney for the Philippines government was fatally shot in Philadelphia this weekend while in an Uber on the way to the airport, as investigators still haven't disclosed a motive as of Monday morning. 

John Albert Laylo, an attorney for the government of the Philippines, and his mother were headed to Philadelphia International Airport to board a flight early Saturday when police say an unidentified suspect in a black car fired several rounds around 4:10 a.m. into their Uber at a red light near the University of Pennsylvania. 

Laylo was shot in the back of the head and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday morning, police said. No arrests have been announced as of early Monday. 

"Too many guns. Doesn't matter if it's a tourist from the Philippines or one of our native-born Philadelphians, there are too many damn guns in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia," Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat, said Sunday, according to WPVI-TV. 


But his comment came before police have revealed a motive for the shooting, including whether it was random violence or if the investigation suggests Laylo, his mother or the Uber driver were targeted. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Philadelphia police Monday morning seeking more information. 

John Albert Laylo, an attorney for the government of the Philippines, died at the hospital after being shot in the head in an Uber in Philadelphia. (Leah Bustamante Laylo/Facebook )

Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato, who is based in New York, met Laylo’s mother at Penn Presbyterian Hospital and said she was slightly injured by glass fragments during the shooting. 

It wasn't clear if the Uber driver was injured. The consulate general of the Philippines said the deceased victim was an attorney for its government, Philadelphia's KYW-TV reported. 

Cato said he assured Laylo’s mother the Philippine government will help in bringing his remains back home. "We are also in touch with police authorities and have underscored the importance of our request for them to bring the perpetrator of this incident to justice," Cato said in a statement.

Philippines government attorney John Albert Laylo see in undated photo. (Leah Bustamante Laylo/Facebook )

Laylo, 35, had worked in Manila as a legislative staffer for opposition Sen. Leila de Lima from 2016 to 2018 then left to take up graduate studies. 

"He was so young and still full of dreams," de Lima said Monday in Manila and expressed hope the suspect would immediately be held to account "for the brutal and senseless act."

Laylo's mother posted to Facebook on Sunday, saying she had been on vacation with her son, whom she referred to as Jal.


"Never did I imagine or dream that ... the end of our vacation will be like this!" Leah Bustamante Laylo wrote in a post accompanied by snapshots of her and her son touring sites in New York, Washington and Philadelphia. "We travelled together and we are supposed to go home together! I will bring him home soon in a box!"

Cato said the mother and son were on their way to Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight to Chicago where they would fly to California en route to Manila. 

Philadelphia police work the scene of a fatal overnight shooting on South Street in Philadelphia, Sunday, June 5, 2022. Two people have been arrested and charged in the incident and a third is being sought, authorities sad Wednesday.  ((AP Photo/Michael Perez))

They were in Philadelphia to visit his cousin and the shooting happened about five minutes after Laylo and his mother left his cousin’s apartment, Cato said. The pair has been in Philadelphia since June 9. 

"The violent attack that took Mr. Laylo's life is heartbreaking and our thoughts are with his family during their time of grief. We hope police are able to quickly arrest those responsible," a spokesperson for Uber told WPVI-TV. 

As of last Thursday, Philadelphia has seen 208 fatal shooting victims and 836 nonfatal shootings so far this year, according to figures from the city controller’s office. 

In one notable episode on June 4, a gun melee in the South Street entertainment district, about 3 miles from the shooting that killed Laylo, left three people dead and several others injured.


In an effort to combat surging violence and a shortage of officers, a joint public safety program launched earlier this month between the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police to bolster the presence of law enforcement in areas of the city hit the hardest by crime. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to and on Twitter: @danimwallace.