It happened this early Friday morning that several gunshots were heard at the Resorts World Manila. Initial reports stated a masked man fired his gun within the resort-casino premises and set an area on fire. While the turmoil brews, the resort-casino area has been put on lockdown.
Now, Philippine police say that the gunman has killed himself.
The unnamed suspect began firing shots and set a few gaming tables ablaze of the Resorts World Manila in the wee hours of Friday, June 2.
Local media reports said that the local police, fire trucks and a SWAT team responded to the attack.
Dela Rosa said that the lone gunman walked into one of the gambling rooms, fired his assault rifle at a big TV screen, and then poured gasoline on a gaming table and set it on fire. The police chief said the gunman then fired again at a stock room which contained gambling chips and filled his backpack with them, worth 113 million pesos ($2.3m or £1.7m). He then left the room and went upstairs to the hotel area of the complex.
The police said that the incident was not related to terrorism and the likely motive was robbery. National police chief Ronald Dela Rosa stated, “The lone gunman is already neutralized. He is dead. He burned himself inside the hotel room. He lay down on the bed, covered himself with a thick blanket, apparently poured petrol on the blanket and burned himself.”
Police speculate that the suspect may have lost in the casino and wanted to get his money back, or he simply went “totally nuts”. Dela Rosa said that if it had been terrorism, then “he would have shot all the people gambling there, but he did not hurt anyone.”
The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility. According to the SITE Intelligence Group that monitors terrorist organizations, the IS said they have “lonewolf soldiers” from their group that carried out the attack.
Customers inside the casino recalled their horrible experience when the shooting occurred.
An employee of Reosrts World Maricel Navaro, said, “I was about to return to the second floor from my break when I saw people running. Some hotel guests said someone yelled 'ISIS'! Guests were screaming. We went to the basement locker room and hid there. People were screaming, guests and employees were in panic. When we smelled smoke, we decided to go for the exit in the carpark. That's where we got out. Before we exited, we heard two gunshots and there was thick smoke on the ground floor.”
About 75 people were hurt, some of them seriously, and 25 were taken to the hospital. Most of the patients suffered the effects of smoke inhalation, minor injuries such as bruising, while some sustained minor fractures as they stampeded to escape, but none had gunshot wounds.
Resorts World Manila is a popular tourist attraction just adjacent to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. It houses hotels, a shopping mall and a casino complex.