The recent attack at a Philippine casino had all the hallmarks of a terrorist attack, so much so that the radical Islamic State even claimed responsibility for the resultant 37 lives lost. However, authorities are now claiming that the culprit behind the attack was actually a suicidal gambling addict whose lack of self-control had mired him in a massive amount of debt.
According to Police Chief Oscar Albayalde, the perpetrator of the deadly shooting rampage was a man by the name of Jesse Carlos, who at one point worked for the Finance Department. He had managed to rack up $80,000 in debt “due to being hooked in casino gambling,” Albayalde said.
Authorities also revealed that none of the 37 victims died to gunshot wounds, even though Carlos fired off multiple shots; instead, they perished from smoke inhalation while hiding from the gunman, who had also set fire to the Resorts World Manila casino.
Video footage from the incident apparently shows that Carlos was actually trying to carry off a robbery at the casino. Investigators uncovered a bag stuffed with $2 million in poker chips hidden inside a toilet and surmised that Carlos had set fire to numerous gambling tables in order to provide a distraction as he escaped with the goods.
Carlos, who was a married father with three children, took his life at a nearby hotel instead of facing law enforcement. His distraught mother held a press conference on Sunday asking the families of the victims to forgive her son.
“We’re asking for your apology. We can’t accept ourselves that my son became like this, he was a very kind son,” Carlos’s weeping mother, Teodora, said. “He chose to end his life than kill and kill people.”
Shortly after the incident took place, President Donald Trump noted that his administration was “closely monitoring the situation” and offered his condolences to the victims and their families.