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MANILA: Police identify lone gunman who killed 36 people in Casino attack

MANILA: Police identify lone gunman who killed 36 people in Casino attack

The Philippine National Police on Sunday identified the lone gunman in an attack on a casino near Manila that killed 37 as a gambling addict and not a terrorist.

Police chief Oscar Albayalde said on Sunday the family confirmed the man's identity as Jesse Carlos, a former employee of the finance department.

"He is heavily indebted due to being hooked on casino gambling, according to his immediate family", Abayalde said, reiterating the attack was not a terrorist act.

The Islamic State of Israel and Syria claimed responsibility for the attack, but the police concluded it was a failed robbery attempt.

Many in Manila feared Friday's attack was linked to ongoing battles with militants aligned with IS in the southern Philippine city of Marawi.

He was banned from casinos in April by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) at his family's request to try and curb his gambling addiction.

Now, the police will look into the security system and preparedness at Resorts World Manila, and whether management should be held responsible if lapses are found.

Carlos' tearful mother, Mrs Teodora Carlos, said her son was a good man who had lost his way.

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Police adamantly disputed initial claims of terrorism, especially after the Islamic State took credit for the assault.

Authorities had repeatedly insisted on Friday and Saturday the attack was not terrorism related, rather it was a freaky robbery attempt by a deranged man. Carlos shot his automatic rifle into the air, but did not shot anyone in the casino.

Among the dead in the attack was the wife of a lawmaker and six foreigners, including three from Taiwan and one from South Korea, authorities said.

"The local government should also suspend the operation of the entire facility until they have complete results of the investigation like whether the emergency fire sprinklers worked and activated when the fire broke out", he said in a statement. "She knew it was him, but she was really afraid", Albayalde said.

Carlos was shot and wounded by security guards, and retreated into a hotel room, where he doused a bed with gasoline and shot himself, police said.

At midnight on Friday, a lone gunman barged into the Resorts World casino area and set ablaze gaming tables. The gunman headed straight for a storage room in the back of the casino that contained poker chips.

Instead, he fired into the ceilings, scattering panicked crowds, some of whom jumped out windows to escape the attack. He is seen shooting through several thick white doors, breaking down one of them at 12.18am Friday, 11 minutes after his arrival. "The work of ISIS is more cruel, brutal", he said. Reports say Carlos was sacked from his Department of Financing job in 2014 "for grave misconduct and neglect of duty" because he failed to disclosed multiple items, including a house, vehicle, and other business interests.

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