- Police said 37 people, including gunman, dead in Resorts World Manila attack
- Victims died due to suffocation
- 54 injured due to smoke inhalation, stampede, or accidental shooting
MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region’s top cop confirmed the deaths of at least 37 people (including the gunman) in the ill-botched robbery attempt on Resorts World Manila.
“Victims who suffered suffocation already went to 36, plus the suspect, that makes the body count to 37,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayade as saying.
Albayade added that the incident left 54 people injured, mostly either from smoke inhalation or from the ensuing stampede.
One of the injured, a security guard, also had to be treated after accidentally shooting himself.
18 of the victims are currently undergoing treatment at the hospital, while the rest were quickly treated for superficial or non-life-threatening injuries, Albayade revealed.
The NCRPO director also again discounted the angle that the gunman was a terrorist.
“If he were a terrorist, he would have strapped a bomb or TNT onto himself and detonated himself to inflict more damage,” he said.
Earlier, PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said police are eyeing the incident as a case of robbery rather than terrorism.
He said robbery was the more plausible reason as the gunman ransacked millions of pesos worth of chips rather than mowing down the people inside the casino.
“If he was a terrorist, if he was ISIS he should have gunned down people there,” he said.
While CCTV footage of the gunman and of his remains after he burned and shot himself to death have been released, police have yet to establish his identity and nationality.
Both Dela Rosa and Albayade said the gunman whom they described as an English-speaking Caucasian could have been a long-time gambler who went amuck after suffering huge losses inside the casino.