Shooting Rampage in Philippines Leaves Nine Dead
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A man who was apparently intoxicated fatally shot eight people, including a pregnant woman, her 3-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old girl, before being shot dead by police Friday near the Philippine capital, officials said.
At least eight other people were wounded in the shooting rampage in Kawit township, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Manila, Cavite provincial Gov. Jonvic Remulla said.
He identified the gunman as Ronald Bae, who was killed in a shootout with responding police.
It was not immediately clear why Bae went on the rampage, Remulla said. He said Bae left his Kawit neighborhood about a year ago after he lost an election for village chairman, and returned Monday because of a "marital problem" with his wife, whom he had left in northern Pampanga province before New Year's.
The governor said Bae and several friends were on a "drug and alcohol binge" from Monday to Friday, drinking alcohol and taking methamphetamine. Bae left a store where he and his friends were drinking but later returned with the caretaker of his house in Kawit and began the shooting spree in the surrounding neighborhood, Remulla said.
Police investigator Arnulfo Lopez said residents heard Bae threatening to kill the caretaker if he did not reload Bae's pistol during the shooting.
Remulla said Bae first killed a man who lived across the street from his house and then killed his dog.
"He just shot at anyone he saw," Remulla said. "You could see that these were really acts of a madman."
He said Bae then shot and killed a 7-year-old girl inside her home and wounded her 2-year-old sister and 4-year-old brother, who was Bae's godson.
The two siblings who survived were in critical condition. No details were immediately available about the condition of the other wounded victims.
The pregnant woman died after being shot in the stomach, Remulla said. Her 6-month-old fetus also died.
GMA television reported that the woman made a frantic call for help to her mother, Baby Alberto, who heard screams and gunshots.
"She said, 'Please, don't! Please don't!'" Alberto quoted her daughter as pleading to the gunman. She said her daughter was found dead in the bathroom hugging her 3-year-old daughter, who also died.
Edwin Lacorte, an uncle of the three children who were shot, said he could hear them screaming from his home nearby.
"I could not do anything," he said. "I heard the shots."
Lacorte said he later saw bullet-riddled cushions that the children had apparently used to protect themselves during the attack.
Lacorte said Bae soon approached his house, and he fled with his wife and their four children, two grandchildren and three nieces.
"He was shooting at us as we were running," he said.
Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman for President Benigno Aquino III, said the killings "will certainly fuel the efforts of the (Philippine National Police) in its drive against loose firearms."
Police estimate there are about half a million firearms that are either unlicensed or have expired licenses around the country.
A 7-year-old girl died Wednesday after being hit in the head by a stray bullet fired during New Year's Eve revelry in a Manila suburb. Police are still trying to determine who fired the shot.
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