MANILA—The Southern Police District (SPD) on Friday confirmed fatalities went up to 37 while injured persons rose to 78 when an unidentified man torched gaming tables including himself inside the Resorts World in Pasay City early Friday.
As of 1:30 p.m., SPD said 37 individuals were confirmed dead including the suspect, while 78 were injured and brought to different hospital for medical treatment.
Of the 78 injured people, 23 were brought to St. Lukes Global City Taguig City, 17 at Remington Hospital Clinic in Pasay City, 14 at San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City, 21 at Villamor Airbase Hospital in Pasay City, and three at Pasay City General Hospital.
The joint team of Disaster Victim Identification, PNP, NHQ Camp Crame led by Sr. Supt. Ligaya Sim of Crime Laboratory is now conducting technical aspect of investigation on the scene and processing the identity of the victims.
The shooting incident transpired around 12:18 a.m. Friday inside the luxury hotel Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
Southern Police District (SPD) Director, Chief Supt. Tomas Apolinario earlier said the victims, mostly women, were found at the second floor of the casino area.
He said the deaths were caused by suffocation or loss of breath and not from gunshot wounds.
In the first hours on Friday, the gunman fired shots, set on fire gaming tables and was later found burned beyond recognition in one of the hotel rooms at the 5th floor.
Apolinario said authorities have cordoned off the area and still conducting investigation.
He added the hotel has been cleared of danger except for fumes in some areas.
Meanwhile, Resorts World Manila officials have assured that full assistance will be extended to families of the deceased and injured.
”This unexpected violent attack on innocent lives will not break the spirit on which Resorts World Manila was built. We ask for your prayers during these dark hours,” the company said.
Meanwhile, PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa has ruled out terrorism as the motive behind the Resorts World Manila shooting incident Friday morning.
“Hindi ito act of terror, wala yung elemento ng violence, threat at intimidation that lead to terrorism,” De la Rosa said.
“Huwag po kayo magpanic, this is not a cause for alarm. As far as the PNP is concerned, walang terrorism. The ISIS can claim anytime all they want for propaganda,” he said.
Dela Rosa said police are looking at robbery as the motive because the suspect has stolen PHP113 million worth of casino chips but eventually left the backpack containing them near the stockroom.