Philippine police say casino attacker was indebted gambler

Paterniano Del Favero
Giugno 16, 2017

Oscar Albayalde, a chief of the capital's police office, shows to journalists a picture of a gunman Jessie Javier Carlos, a 42-year-old Filipino, who was behind an attack on a Resorts World casino on Friday, during a press briefing at a hotel in Pasay city, metro Manila, Philippines June 4, 2017.

The man's immediate family confirmed his identity as Jessie Carlos, a married father of three and former Finance Department employee who owed more than USD 80,000 dollars.

Thirty-seven people have been killed in a Manila casino, following an attack in the early hours of Friday morning by a lone gunman who fired shots from an assault rifle and set fire to gambling tables.

The confirmation of his identity backs previous assertions by the police that the attack at the sprawling entertainment complex in Manila that killed at least 38, including the gunman, and injured over 67, was not terror-related.

Albayalde said Carlos, a resident of Sta Cruz, Manila, was "heavily in debt" due to casino gambling.

He is seen shooting through several thick white doors, breaking down one of them at 12:18am on Friday - only 11 minutes after his arrival.

Mr Abayalde suggested he started fires as a diversionary tactic and his next move was to try to escape.

"He could have shot everybody there", Albayalde added.

Those concerns escalated when militants flying black IS flags rampaged through the Philippines' main Islamic city in the south almost two weeks ago, triggering clashes that are still continuing and have left roughly 200 people dead. The fighting has placed much of the country on edge and raised fears that the IS was gaining a foothold. The victims appeared to have died of smoke inhalation as they hid from the gunman, police said. "He could have killed hundreds of people inside that establishment. This became the cause of misunderstanding with his wife and parents", Albayalde said. But he did not shoot anybody ... he just burned the casino.

"We will not allow people or any threat group to use this situation to advance their propaganda or personal causes whether foreign or local".

At yesterday's press conference, Carlos' tearful mother said he had been a good man who committed the violence because of his gambling addiction. "So our findings, our conclusion, will possibly change", he told DZMM radio.

Internal security were shown chasing after the suspect, with one security officer managing to shoot the gunman, slowing him down as he climbed a stairwell.

Carlos forced his way into Room 510, where hotel security and police found him already engulfed in flames, and with the tip of his rifle pointing towards his mouth.

"We have the taxi driver who could probably identify him", Alabayade said.

A security guard tried but failed to stop Carlos as he was brandishing a baby armalite.

With clear determination, he begins circling the room, dousing gambling tables and then igniting each one with a lighter.

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