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Manila Casino Attacker Was a Gambling Addict, Philippine Police Say

Family members of Mr. Carlos also attended the news conference Sunday, where they asked the victims’ relatives for forgiveness.

“My son was a good person, but changed after he started going to casinos,” his mother, Teodora Carlos, said tearfully.

The police identified Mr. Carlos as the man seen in security videos of the attack, setting fires in the casino’s gaming rooms and stealing more than $ 2 million worth of gambling chips. The videos were made public Saturday, but the assailant had not then been identified.


A memorial to victims of the attack at the Resorts World Manila casino. The police said Sunday that the attacker was deep in debt from gambling. Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

Nearly all of the 37 people who were killed had taken refuge in a small room in the VIP section of the casino and died from smoke inhalation, Mr. Albayalde said. More than 70 others were injured as 1,200 customers and employees fled the hotel in panic.

After Mr. Carlos was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with security guards, he broke into a hotel room on the fifth floor, set fire to the room and shot himself, the police said.

Investigators discovered Mr. Carlos’s identity early Sunday morning, after interviewing the taxi driver who had picked him up near his home in the San Lazaro neighborhood of Manila and driven him to the casino.

Family members confirmed his identity after viewing the security video of the attack, in which Mr. Carlos is seen at one point without his mask, the police said.

“They had no idea whatsoever,” Mr. Albayalde said.

Family members also told the police that Mr. Carlos had once had gall bladder surgery, which matched a scar found on the attacker’s body, the police said. The body was burned beyond recognition.

Mr. Albayalde said Mr. Carlos had lost his job at the Finance Ministry for not disclosing required financial information. He owed more than $ 80,000 and had been forced to sell his vehicle, Mr. Albayalde said. He said Mr. Carlos was estranged from his family but was still living in the same household.

“He was heavily indebted due to being hooked on casino gambling, according to his immediate family,” Mr. Albayalde said. “This became the cause of misunderstanding with his wife and parents.”

Mr. Albayalde described Mr. Carlos as mentally unstable because of his gambling addiction.

“You are no longer in your right mind when you are addicted,” he said.

Source: NYT > World

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