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Philippines Police Find Casino Gunman Dead of Apparent Suicide

  • VOA News

A social media image purports to show police and other personnel on the scene at Resorts World in Manila, Philippines. (Twitter - @Naagesh_tweets)

Philippine police say the suspect in the attack on a hotel and casino complex near Manila's airport has been found dead of apparent suicide.

Metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde says the English-speaking suspect was found dead with his rifle on the fifth floor of the Resorts World Manila complex. He says the gunman apparently killed himself.

The suspect took 113 million pesos ($226,000) worth of gambling chips, which were found in a bag he was carrying.

Abayalde says there was no indication of terrorism. He says either the suspect lost in the casino and wanted to get his money back, or went “totally nuts.”

National police chief General Ronald Dela Rosa earlier told DZMM radio that the attacker did not hurt anyone. In addition to taking the gambling chips, Dela Rosa said, the gunman shot an LED monitor and set furniture on fire.

In a news conference late Thursday, Resorts World Manila Chief Operating Officer Steve Reilly said all guests have been taken out of the building and everyone is safe.

The hotel is located in Pasay, just south of the Philippines capital.

Earlier media reports said several people were injured seriously when the gunman opened fire on guests and employees inside the hotel. Pictures posted on social media showed smoke pouring out of the building.

Armed police and rescue services were deployed at the scene. The hotel posted a note on Twitter that it was under lockdown and “working closely with the Philippine National Police to ensure that all guests and employees are safe.”

Video/images circulating on social media on events in Manila (not independently confirmed):

Though no one immediately claimed responsibility for the incident in Pasay, it came as the Philippine military has been battling Islamic State-linked militants in the southern city of Marawi.

In an appearance in the White House Rose Garden later Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concern. He said, “We’re closely monitoring the situation. ... It is really very sad as to what’s going on throughout the world with terror. Our thoughts and our prayers are with all of those affected.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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