Casino gunman identified as problem gambler

Gladys Abbott
June 13, 2017

Police identified the late attacker as a 43-year-old Filipino catholic and father of three, Jessie Javier Carlos, on Sunday. Albayalde and other police chiefs repeatedly said on Friday that security footage showed the gunman drive to the casino and leave his vehicle in the complex's auto park.

The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack in Manila, but authorities say it was a botched robbery by a single gunman and there was no links to terrorism.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the casino attack was not the work of Islamic State and that the gunman was just "crazy".

Manila: Philippine police on Sunday identified the gunman behind an attack on a casino that killed 36 people as a heavily indebted local man addicted to gambling, ruling out any involvement by militants.

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.

Terror attack or not, Carlos was able to set ablaze enough gambling tables and slot machines to spread fire across the building, killing 38 people in the process due to suffocation.

Duterte declared martial law in the south of the Philippines on May 23 in a bid to quash the rising IS threat, and said he was prepared to impose military rule nationwide if terrorism spread. He owed more than $80,000, Albayalde said.

His parents joined the news conference to ask for forgiveness.

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The taxi driver who dropped off Carlos told police his passenger spoke fluent Tagalog and appeared normal during the ride. The lone gunman, Jesse Carlos, 42, who had been employed by the Finance Department, was carrying a large bag with him as he made his way into the Resorts World Manila casino and resort.

"The work of ISIS is more cruel and brutal, they would simply kill people for nothing".

Police described the suspect as an English-speaking, fair-complexioned man in his 40s who was at least 1.8 meters (6 feet) tall. Police fished a bag stuffed with $2 million in poker chips from a toilet. "He could have killed hundreds of people inside that establishment".

In a text message to reporters, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto C. Abella said what transpired in Resorts World Manila last Friday is nothing more but a criminal act.

But in another apparent contradiction, dela Rosa said since police knew very little about the attacker, that stance may change. Tengco says she can not understand how a gunman managed to enter the casino.

Shortly afterwards, he dons a black ski mask, slips on an ammunition vest and pulls an M4 carbine assault rifle out of his backpack at the Resorts World Manila complex.

More than 12,000 people were in the complex at the time; most were successfully evacuated.

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