BREAKING | Resorts World gunman an ex-DOF employee mired in gambling debts: police

June 4, 2017 - 12:14 PM
The gunman authorities say was responsible for the carnage at the Resorts World Hotel.

MANILA – The lone perpetrator of the June 2 shooting and fire at Resorts World Manila was a former Finance department employee facing serious financial problems owing to gambling, police said Sunday.

At a press conference called by the NCRPO and the Southern Police District with members of the gunman’s family, officials identified the perpetrator as Jessie Carlos, 42, previously assigned at the DOF’s One-stop Shop Center, assigned to supervise licensed brokerages. He was dismissed from service for misdeclarations in his Statement of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN).

According to the NCRPO chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, Carlos’ family linked up with the SPD”s Special task Group at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, after seeing screenshots of the Resorts World gunman, and late on Saturday, CCTV footage released by the hotel management and police.

Though separated from his wife after their relations deteriorated owing to Jessie’s gambling, he still lived in the family home in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

He and wife Jen have three children. The wife was on a wheelchair, said to be suffering from hypertension, and left the press conference earlier. Jessie’s parents stayed on to answer reporters’ questions.

Police said he had been frequenting one casino in Metro Manila, which police declined to name. He was barred from entering that particular casino last April, as requested by his family.

He had racked up debts of some P4 million in the other casino he frequented, police said. He was forced to sell a property in Batangas and an SUV on account of his debts.

Albayalde later said at the press conference the casino he frequented was definitely not Resorts World, and noted that the casino hotel’s CCTV showed he seemed unsure at times when he was trying to access where the chips were kept.

Before the attack past midnight Friday, he bought two containers of gasoline, according to testimony from a gas station attendant presented by police.

CCTV footage shared by RWM management showed him alighting at the hotel’s taxi drop-off area. The taxi driver told police he picked up the man in San Lazaro in Sta. Cruz district, Manila, and he asked to be brought to RWM in Pasay City. He spoke flawless Tagalog, the driver told police, giving probers an indication the attacker was probably not a foreigner as suspected earlier.

NCRPO chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the police reiterated their our prior stand “that this incident is not an act of terrorism, but confined to the act of one man alone.” He said they will not allow any group, foreign or local, to use the incident to further their propaganda cause, apparently referring to ISIS, which supposedly owned the attack within an hour after news reports broke.

Albayalde said it was the family that went to the police to help identify the suspect.

Carlos’ father insisted at the press conference that their son had no known inclination towards any extremist group, and deeply apologized to the families of all victims.

Reacting to the latest development, Sen. Grace Poe, chair of the Public Services committee, said in a Twitter post: “May the identification of the suspect at the RWM incident be a call for action on our authorities to establish adequate protocols to ensure that this unfortunate incident never happens again. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the bereaved families in their time of grief.”