Gunman identified in horrendous Manila Casino attack

manila casino attackOn Friday June 2nd, a man set fire to a Manila Casino, killing 37 people. He has been identified as Jesse Carlos, 42, he was a Filipino and a heavy gambler who was in a huge amount of debt and had lost his job. Carlos was also a father of three and a former employee of the Philippines Department of Finance. His family had tried to help him shake his gambling addiction by banning him from entering casinos.

The Manila Casino Attack

Early Friday, Carlos entered the Resorts World Manila, a casino complex located near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Phillipines. This is a popular resort, with tourists pouring into play their favourite casino games all year round. A series of security videos identify Carlos  firing shots from his assault rifle and setting fires in casino gambling rooms and stealing over 113 million pesos ($2 million) worth of gambling chips. He stuffed the chips in his backpack, which was later recovered at the scene by police. Initial fears were of a terrorist attack, but the police have revealed that the motive behind Carlos’s attack appears to have been robbery, he acted alone and did not shoot at the customers fleeing the scene. As such, this is not believed to be terror related, or linked with ISIS (although they claimed responsibility). Over 70 other innocent people were injured as over 1,000 customers fled the hotel. Employees and guests who were stuck in the casino as the rooms filled up with smoke smashed at windows, jumped from second and third floors and were helped out by passers by with ladders. The lucky ones ended up with broken legs. However, not everyone managed to get out. The 37 people who sadly lost their lives, were hiding in a small room in the VIP section and died from smoke inhalation.

Upon exchanging gunfire with security guards, Carlos was wounded. He broke into a hotel room, set fire to the room and then shot himself. He was found dead around 7.00am local time, his body was burnt beyond recognition and was found next to an automatic weapon, as well as a .380-caliber-pistol.

Carlos’s Gambling Addiction

Carlos was a long time guest at the Manila casino and is believed to have owed over $80,000, he was forced to sell his vehicle and was described as being estranged from his family (although they lived in the same household). His relatives said that he was hooked on gambling and indebted because of it. Carlos was also believed to be mentally unstable due to his addiction. Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte told reporters that “all indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual”

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