COTABATO CITY -- Police neutralized in a shootout a suspected drug pusher during a buy-bust operation in Barangay Rosary Heights 8, this city, on Thursday.

Chief Insp. Tirso Pascual, Police Station 4 commander, identified the slain suspect as Jonathan Macalawan, 36, a resident of Zenaida Subdivision in the same barangay.

Pascual said the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at policemen who were about to arrest him around 11 a.m. following the sale of methampethamine hydrochloride or “shabu” with a poseur-buyer.

“He (Macalawan) resisted arrest and opened fire, prompting the arresting team to fire back," Pascual, who led the operation, said.

Macalawan was rushed to the hospital following the shootout but was declared dead on arrival.

Recovered from the suspect were a .45-caliber pistol with three spent shells, a belt bag containing four packets of suspected shabu, a compact digital weighing scale, an improvised glass tooter, and the PHP500 marked money.

Pascual said they have long been monitoring the activities of the suspect in the area prior to Thursday’s sting operation. (PNA)