Resorts World gunman an ex-govt employee in debt: NCRPO

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2017 12:01 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2017 05:00 PM

Oscar Albayalde, chief of the capital's police office, shows to journalists a picture of gunman Jessie Javier Carlos, a who was behind an attack on a Resorts World casino on Friday, during a press briefing at a hotel in Pasay Sunday. The parents of Jessie Javier Carlos, Fernando and Teodora can be seen beside him. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA - (2nd UPDATE) The gunman who attacked Resorts World Manila was a former government employee who was deep in debt due to gambling, police confirmed Sunday.

Relatives identified Jessie Carlos 42, as the rifle-wielding man who casually walked into the posh casino on Friday and started a series of events that led to his death and that of 37 others, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said.

Carlos was a former employee of the Department of Finance's One Stop Shop. He was dismissed from the DOF for misdeclaration and non-disclosure in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

The suspect was also heavily in debt, Albayalde said.

"Highroller siya, his minimum bet is usually P40,000 kaya siya nalulong nang nalulong sa sugal," Albayalde said in a press conference.

"He has a bank account with an outstanding debt of P4 million, and several other non-bank related debt," he added.

Carlos' debt caused a rift in his relationship with his wife and parents, and also forced him to sell his sports utility vehicle and real estate property in the province.

Last April, he was barred by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation from all casinos, including Resorts World, at the request of his relatives, Albayalde said.

"This could have probably triggered him kaya galit na galit siya sa (and that is why he was enraged with) casino," the official added.

Albayalde also presented CCTV footage of Carlos buying 3 liters of gasoline before boarding a taxi on his way to Resorts World.

 

CASINO VIOLENCE

Carlos, dressed in black and armed with an M14 assault rifle, had walked casually into Resorts World a few minutes past 12 a.m. Friday.

Clips from the casino CCTV, which police and officials at Resorts World released on Saturday, showed Carlos firing shots at the ceiling and setting gaming tables and slot machines ablaze.

Panicked customers and employees of the posh casino complex meanwhile fled the scene, with some shouting "ISIS," referring to the international terrorist group.

Amid the rush for the exit from the burning entertainment center, 37 people died after suffocating from the smoke caused by the fires.

Carlos meanwhile was caught on camera purportedly stealing casino chips worth P113 million from a storage room before he was later found by security officers, who shot and wounded him during an exchange of fire.

The suspect then went back up the hotel as police and security personnel began pursuing him again.

He eventually found his way to a room in the 5th floor of Maxims Hotel, which is part of the Resorts World complex. He set the fire to the room and reportedly shot and killed himself.

A resident of Sta. Cruz in Manila, Carlos was survived by his wife, son and 2 daughters.

FAMILY CONDOLES WITH VICTIMS

Carlos' wife and parents appeared during Sunday's press conference and condoled with the families of the fatalities.

"They express their deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and to the public in general. They share the pain brought about by the act of Jessie," Albayalde said.

"Today, we hope to have brought closure and peace to the bereaved families. We mourn with you."

Albayalde also reiterated that the incident was not a terrorist attack but rather the act of one man.

"We will not allow people or any threat group to use this situation to advance their propaganda or personal causes whether foreign or local. This is our duty to the Filipino people and to the international community," Albayalde said.

Albayalde also promised to continue the investigation that will "spare no one of any lapses committed during the incident."

-- With Reuters; Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News