MANILA, Philippines – Local police believe that shooting sprees similar to the incident that took place in a Colorado movie theater recently is unlikely to happen in the Philippines.
Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman, Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., said the Philippines has stringent measures regulating the sale of firearms.
He added that it is unusual in Filipino culture to engage in such violent activity.
“Hindi naman sa atin nangyayari 'yun. Unang una, regulated lahat ng sales, kung sino man ang nagdi-deal ng baril at ng bala and at the same time, 'yung bumibili,” said Cerbo.
There may have been isolated mall shootings, but none as grim as the incident in Colorado, he said.
A masked attacker opened fire at packed movie theater in Colorado during the premiere of a Batman movie, killing at least 12 people and wounding almost 40.
Chaos erupted when the gunman tossed some kind of grenade into the audience at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises," then opened fire on terrified patrons as they scrambled for the exit.
Local police arrested the killer -- identified by US media as 24-year-old James Holmes -- at the rear of the theater, in Aurora, a suburb of the city of Denver, in Colorado.
A Filipino, 17-year-old Ryan Lumba, was among those who were wounded.
Lumba's mother, Remy, told ABS-CBN's Balitang America that her son was shot in the stomach. He underwent surgery.
Police said the gunman was armed with an assault rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol. Another handgun was found in his car.
All of his firearms were bought legally.
In Washington DC, flags have been lowered to half-mast, while hundreds of mourners gathered in Denver for a vigil.
US authorities said, there have been few answers to the motive for the shooting, but they've ruled out terrorism. – With a report from Joel Caballero, ABS-CBN News; Agence France-Presse