At least 37 bodies were found dead, including the suspect at the casino and hotel complex, where lone gunman opened fire on Friday, June 2. Most of the victims are thought to have suffocated on smoke from the fires since these victims don’t have gunshot wounds.
“Victims who suffered suffocation already went to 36, plus the suspect, that makes the body count to 37,” National Capital Region chief PCSUpt. Oscar Albayalde said during the palace briefing.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella described the gunman as an “emotionally disturbed individual.”
PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa confirmed early on Friday morning that the gunman died at the casino complex about seven hours after the initial midnight attack.
Abella said the other deaths were “due to suffocation at the 2nd floor gaming area, which had been set on fire by the perpetrator who eventually committed suicide on the 5th floor of the Maxim hotel, where he set himself on fire and then shot himself.”
The gunman, who is foreign-looking set gambling tables on fire and stole millions worth of chips. According to PNP chief Dela Rosa, he entered through second floor building and shot the LCD screens.
Albayalde also clarified that there is no threat of terrorism in Metro Manila and the incident has nothing to do with the crisis happening in Marawi City.
Meanwhile, United States issued on Friday an emergency message to its nationals in the Philippines, urging citizens to exercise caution due to the incident happened in Resorts World Manila.
“Local media reports gunfire and explosions at Resorts World Manila near the Manila International Airport. Exercise caution and review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates,” the US said in its emergency message.
Earlier, the Australian government also advised its citizens to be more careful in the Philippines.
In its advisory, the Australian government cited reports of “a major security incident” at the Resorts World Hotel in Manila, near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities. Some flights have been redirected from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, contact your airline or tour provider for latest information on flight disruptions,” it said.