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By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Feb. 15) - Four persons were killed and a police officer was injured at a residence in San Antonio yesterday morning.

[PIR editor’s note: San Antonio is located on the southwest coast of Saipan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ largest island.]

It is the first triple homicide case in the history of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, police said.

Police are still investigating the incident and are still trying to establish the motive behind the stabbing of three persons — two females and one male.

[PIR editor’s note: The fourth victim apparently was a suspect in the killings, who was shot by a police officer.]

Major Edward Manalili of the Department of Public Safety’s Criminal Investigation Bureau said the incident occurred at 10:44 a.m. yesterday at one of the residential structures beside Jang’s Jewelry across from the Saipan Mayor’s Office and the Department of Labor.

Department of Public Safety earlier received a call about a disturbance behind the Seventh Day Adventist School in San Antonio, which has a garment factory and several establishments that cater to garment workers.

A traffic police officer, who was later identified as Victor Hocog, was in the vicinity conducting training and he responded to the scene discovering the lifeless body of a man in front of the residence.

Manalili said the officer heard a commotion and saw a man inside the house.

The man was waving at the officer (Hocog) to come inside.

As he was entering the house, however, he was attacked by the man with a bladed weapon.

Officer Hocog fired at the man.

The officer sustained a laceration on the elbow and stab wound to the side of his body.

Manalili said the lifeless body of a woman was later found in one of the bedrooms of the residence and another injured female individual was also found.

The injured woman and the male attacker were both rushed to the Commonwealth Health Center for treatment. The woman died later and so did the man who underwent surgery for his gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at 3:40 p.m. yesterday by the attending physician. Hocog was also rushed to the hospital for treatment.

All of the three fatalities died of multiple stab wounds.

Manalili said all of the fatalities and the male attacker were Asians, adding that police are still trying to establish the identities of the fatalities and the attacker.

"We have had a double homicide case but this is the first time that we will investigate a triple homicide case, and it is a very serious case, but I think we have a suspect and that’s the male attacker," he said.

The site where the incident occurred is now being guarded by police.

February 16, 2006

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