Man Behind Philippine Casino Tragedy an Indebted Compulsive Gambler

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Gripping footage shows gunman methodically executed his insane attack.

  • ISIS claimed responsibility, which authorities dispute
  • Cool and purposeful in carrying out arson and robbery

The lone gunman behind Friday’s deadly attack on Resorts World Manila has been identified as 42-year-old Filipino, Jessie Carlos Javier.

According to his family, Javier was hooked on casino gambling and heavily indebted.

At least 37 patrons and employees of the casino died, mostly from smoke inhalation.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility but authorities say the CCTV footage supports the government’s view that it was a botched robbery by a lone attacker and had no links to terrorism.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the gunman was simply “crazy” and discounted any links to IS, saying that the work of ISIS is “more cruel and brutal”.

Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said, “All indications…point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual.”.

National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa also said the attack did not appear to be terrorism, but he cautioned that authorities still did not know much about the attacker.

According to Albayalde, Javier was carrying 90 bullets in three rifle clips. He fired warning shots but did not shoot any civilians.

The security footage shows Javier casually exiting a taxi just after midnight and walking calmly into a vast entertainment and gambling complex like any other visitor.

Shortly afterwards, he dons a black mask, wears an ammunition vest and pulls an M4 carbine assault rifle out of his backpack.

What follows borders on the surreal: an unhurried and methodical arson attack and robbery.

He breaks into a room, apparently looking for cash, but finds only gaming chips and hauls a stash away.

In the final scenes, he exchanges fire with security forces tracking him through a stairwell. He is shot in the leg but manages to make it up three flights of stairs to a hotel corridor, where he sets something on fire.

He breaks into an empty room and sets it on fire, too. Security forces soon arrive and find the attacker in the room with a gunshot wound to the mouth. He had also set himself on fire.

Earlier report: Jun 2, Resorts World Manila Casino Attack Leaves 36 Dead