Filipino staff rattled by Daly City medical building shooting

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

April 24, 2014

DALY CITY, Calif. – It was a day of chaos and terror for some Filipinos in Northern California’s Little Manila or Daly City Wednesday after an 84-year-old patient allegedly fired a shot inside the Serramonte Medical Dental building.

Filipino health care staff at the Serramonte Medical Dental Building along Southgate avenue in Daly City, Calif. describe the moment they heard the gunshot fired around 1:30 p.m.

“The doctor saw the man with the gun and he ran out and the shooting was behind him but luckily it missed him,” said evacuee Maria Armas.

“I heard a bang. It didn’t sound like gun fire but I think it was from the upstairs building not really too sure on the detail,” said another evacuee.

At after 3:00 p.m. SWAT officers surrounded the building and searched for the gunman while escorting people out to safety.

Filipinos who live nearby say they were shocked this happened in their neighborhood.

“I was pretty surprised. They actually called out the SWAT team here and if they call the SWAT team then it’s pretty serious,” said Alex Clemente who lives a block up from the medical building.

“It’s crazy. You see these things on the news and other places and you feel sorry for the people there. But for it to happen in your own neighborhood just causes an alert to the folks. There’s a preschool nearby right behind my mom’s work. And I heard a lady that here children are still in the preschool. I hope they’re okay. It’s pretty crazy that it’s happening on your own street,” said Southgate resident Francis Reyes.

Police searched room to room for the man suspected of firing a shot now identified as Raymond Iwase reportedly a disgruntled patient who allegedly targeted Dr. Kevin Wong, an internist.

Wong reportedly saw Iwase with the gun.

As he fired it, Wong supposedly ducked and was missed.

Police arrested Iwase without incident at his Daly City home later that evening.

Authorities found a gun and ammunition inside his home though it is not clear whether it was the same firearm allegedly used at the medical building.

Iwase is currently held at the San Mateo County Jail under suspicion of attempted murder.

No court dates have been set.

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