THE family of slain Enzo Pastor believes “hired killers” ambushed the race car driver on Thursday night in Quezon City.
This was according to a source from the police team looking into the shocking death of Pastor, one of the top racing drivers in the country who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen in a Quezon City intersection.
Among the motives being pursued, the source added, are possible conflicts arising from his career in professional motorsports to a traffic altercation.
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) officials said Pastor’s family is cooperating with police in the investigation, but they declined to issue an official comment until after the grieving family has issued its own statement.
The international car racing champion died after being shot multiple times from close range by his assailants, a pair of men riding in tandem on a motorcycle.
Pastor was driving an Isuzu Elf truck hauling an Asian V8 stock car with assistant Paulo Salazar en route to the Clark Speedway in Pampanga when they stopped at a traffic light on the corner of Congressional and Visayas Avenues.
According to the police, one of the suspects, wearing a mask, walked to the driver’s side of the truck and pounced on Pastor who managed to shout, “Dapa (Get down)!” to Salazar.
Multiple shots were fired, hitting Pastor in the head, neck and the arms. Salazar was struck with a bullet and suffered a minor wound in the abdomen. The gunman then walked to a waiting motorcycle driven by a companion and fled.
Police later recovered several .45 caliber shell casings from the scene.
Supt. Ariel Capucao, chief of Quezon City Police Department Station 3, said the circumstances of the shooting discount the possibility of a carjacking or a case of mistaken identity.
“Nilapitan talaga. Bumaba yung gunman. Talagang lumapit sa kanya at tinignan talaga siya at na-identify siya at binaril siya, hitting him in the head. Talagang siya yung pakay nila,” Capucao said.
“Walang pagnanakaw kasi walang nawala. Nasa imbestigador lahat ng gamit niya,” the police chief added.
Pastor was rushed to the Quezon City General Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
Investigators are still trying to obtain a statement from Salazar, who is said to be in shock after he was taken to the East Avenue Medical Center.
Pastor, who was one of the driving forces behind grassroots racing with his Circuit Showdown series, recently won the championship of the Asian V8 Championship and was set to compete in the Asian V8 at the Clark Speedway. He also competed in Formula 3 in the Macau Grand Prix and NASCAR Europe in international competition.
His remains were brought to the Funeraria Nacional and later taken to the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati.