Manila police say the lone suspect who carried out Friday’s attack on a casino at a resort complex, that left dozens dead, was a heavily indebted 42-year-old Filipino who was hooked on gambling, according to his family.
In a Sunday news conference, the National Capital Region Police Office Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said the gunman was identified by his estranged wife and his parents as Jessie Carlos, a father of three, and a former Department of Finance employee, Rappler reports.
He owed more than $80,000 USD, the local news service reports, “plus an undisclosed amount of non-bank-related debts, due to his gambling problem.”
The news backs up the police chief’s earlier claim that there’s “no concrete evidence that the attack was terrorism.”
“This incident is confined to the act of one man alone as we have always said,” Albayalde says, according to The Associated Press.
The attacker’s mother, Teodora, in tears during the news briefing, asked for forgiveness, the wire service reports. “We can’t accept ourselves that my son became like this, he was a very kind son,” she said. “He chose to end his life rather than … kill people.”
The AP adds:
“The message of what happened to my son is people should not get hooked on gambling so their families won’t get destroyed,” she said.
Albayalde said the man had sold off property to support his gambling habit of at least several years, including a vehicle. His family had grown so concerned they had asked casinos in the capital to ban their husband since April 3.
At least 37 patrons and employees died, mostly due to smoke inhalation while they tried to hide on the second floor of the casino, Albayalde said. The now-identified gunman was found in an hotel room in the resort complex, where police found him dead of apparent suicide, as The Two-Way previously reported.