MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – A Canadian killed 2 people and wounded an assistant prosecutor before turning the gun on himself in a shooting spree inside the Cebu City justice hall Tuesday morning.
The gunman, 67-year-old Canadian John Pope, fired shots inside the Marcelo Fernan Hall of Justice and initially hit two people, identified as Dr. Rene Rafols and his lawyer Jovian Atias.
Rafols, a pediatrician, and Atias died inside the sala of Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 6, where a malicious mischief case against Pope was being heard.
After shooting Rafols and Atias, Pope went to MTCC Branch 1 and shot Assistant City Prosecutor Maria Teresa Casiño.
Senior Superintendent Mariano Natu-el Jr., officer-in-charge of Cebu City Police, said Pope looked for two more targets, identified as Fiscals Oscar Capacio and Nicolas Sellon.
Natu-el said Capacio and Sellon were also handling the other cases against Pope, who was sued for numerous counts of malicious mischief, grave threat and illegal possession of firearms.
While looking for the two fiscals, Pope was shot by two policemen on the arms and thigh. Natu-el said the wounded Canadian, not wanting to be caught alive, then committed suicide by shooting himself on the right temple.
"Natumba yung suspek at siya ay nagpakamatay, Binaril niya rin yung sarili niya," he said.
Pope succumbed to his wounds at the Cebu Doctor's Hospital.
Casiño, meanwhile, is set to undergo an operation at Chong Hua Hospital to remove a bullet lodged in her neck. She is now in stable condition.
Pope allegedly was able to bring the gun to the justice hall building by concealing it with a newspaper clutched in his arm.
Cases vs Pope
A report by ABS-CBN News Cebu said the feud between Rafols and Pope had been going on for years. At one point, an armed Pope allegedly barged into the house of Rafols. It was not clear, however, how the tiff between the two started.
The specific reason for Pope's sudden outburst was not yet established. However, various journalists such as ABS-CBN Cebu's Vilma Andales said Pope had been making rounds in various media offices to express his frustration over the criminal charges filed against him by his neighbors.
Andales said Pope had once demanded that they air a story favorable to him.
Pope was allegedly hostile to his neighbors and would sometimes be seen brandishing his firearms.
Another report, meanwhile, said a local court had issued a deportation order against Pope, but the Bureau of Immigration has yet to implement it.
Due to the shooting, all court proceedings in the hall of justice have been suspended.
The Supreme Court Public Information Office said Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has sent Court Administrator Midas Marquez to Cebu to investigate the shooting incident. With Radio DZMM; Vilma Andales and Reno Tallada, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas