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Resorts World gunman’s identity still unknown

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Police have yet to determine the identity of the gunman, almost two days after he stormed a casino-hotel Friday and started a fire that killed 37 people.

What has been established is that the suspect rode a taxi cab to get to Resorts World Manila, acted alone and that the attack was a case of robbery and not terrorism.

Pasay police chief Senior Supt. Dionisio Bartolome yesterday said they have under their custody the cab driver who picked up the suspect at 11 p.m. in San Lazaro, Manila and brought him to the Resorts World an hour later.

Bartolome said the driver, now considered a person of interest, positively identified the suspect who was described to be between 40 and 45-years-old, about six feet tall, medium built, had fair complexion, and wore a black long sleeve shirt with black vest, black bonnet, and pants.

The cab driver said the suspect spoke straight Filipino, police officials said in a press conference where they showed footages on how the gunman entered the casino-hotel.

The suspect used the elevator and went past security into the gaming room where he started torching the gaming tables after firing shots into the air. He then forced his way into a storage room where he took casino chips worth P113 million.

The footage also showed the gunman setting fire on the corridor of the hotel.

The footages bolster police claim that Friday’s attack was a case of robbery gone wrong.

Police said footages will show that the gunman did not shoot anyone.

In a five-page report submitted to Southern Police District director Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario, Bartolome said the gunman was armed with a caliber M16 rifle (Bushmaster) and a caliber .380 pistol.

His charred body was found inside Room 510 of Resort World’s Maxims Hotel. Police said he burned himself.

As a result of the new development, police cleared the person of interest invited for questioning earlier.

Meanwhile, police said among 38 dead were six foreigners, including Taiwanese Lai Wei Chuing, 26; Pi Ling, 45; Hong Tung Tsung, and Hung Lee.

The others were Kim Sung Hyun, a 46-year-old Korean and a certain Lai Yu Chieh whose nationality has yet to be established.

Another foreign-looking body was recovered. The man was described between 25 and 30-years-old, slim built, about 5’10” tall and clad in a blue hoodie jacket, blue polo shirt, black pants, and rubber shoes.

The police report said five of the 76 who were wounded suffered gunshot wounds.

“Hindi pa malinaw kung pinaputukan o natamaan ng stray bullets kasi may instance rin na naglagay ng bala ‘yung gunman sa isang casino table at saka niya sinilaban,” said SPO1 Rodolfo Suquina, the lead investigator.

The wounded were brought to St. Luke’s Hospital, Pasay City General Hospital, Villamor Airbase Hospital, Las Piñas District Hospital, Capitol Medical Center, Manila Adventist Hospital, and San Juan de Dios Hospital.

To facilitate the investigation, police have requested copies of the CCTV footages from the RWM and the floor plan of the establishment.

The gunman’s firearms were also sent to Camp Crame, Quezon City for ballistic examination. (MARTIN SADONGDONG)