Resorts World Manila: Timeline of a deadly incident

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  • Gunshots and explosions were heard from the luxury hotel and casino in Pasay City past midnight Friday.

June 2, 2017

Around 12:00 a.m.

Shots fired

Gunshots and explosions are heard from Resorts World Manila, a luxury hotel and casino in Pasay City, causing people to panic.

Smoke is seen coming out of a building.

Policemen, firetrucks and a SWAT team arrive at the area.

 

1:37 a.m.

Fire alert

The official Twitter account of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority reports a first-alarm fire at Resorts World Manila as of 12:53 a.m.

 

 

1:45 a.m.

NAIA gates close

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) orders the closure of the main gates of all four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from 1:45 a.m. to 3:45 a.m.

On its Facebook page later in the day, the MIAA says the shutdown was due to the airport's close proximity to Resorts World.

 

2:00 a.m.

On lockdown

Resorts World Manila management announces the hotel is on lockdown, "following reports of gunfire from unidentified men."

It assures the company is closely working with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to ensure the safety of all guests and employees.

 

 

2:14 a.m.

ISIS claims responsibility

SITE Intelligence, a US-based group that tracks online terrorist activity, says the ISIS claims responsilibity for the "attack."

It says the information comes from an "Islamic State (IS) Filipino operative who provides daily updates on the ongoing clashes in Marawi."

 

4:00 a.m.

Lone gunman

Resorts World Manila Chief Operating Officer Stephen Reilly tells the media authorities have identified one gunman.

PNP Chief Dela Rosa confirms the police is looking for a foreign-looking suspect, who set gambling tables on fire and stole P113-million worth of casino chips.

US President Donald Trump says the US government is closely monitoring the situation, which he called a "terror attack."

But Philippine police say it is not an act of terror, but a case of robbery.

Dela Rosa says the situation at Resorts World Manila is "close to normal" at 5:57 a.m.

 

6:30 a.m.

Gunman killed

Police say the gunman was found dead.

PNP Chief Dela Rosa later clarifies the gunman took his own life by setting himself on fire; his remains were burned beyond recognition.

The suspect also shot himself, police say.

Dela Rosa says 54 people sustained minor wounds, 18 of them were rushed to nearby hospitals.

He says the government is not considering declaring martial law in Luzon, for now. Mindanao has been placed under martial law on May 23, following clashes between government troops and Maute fighters, which have pledged allegiance to ISIS, although the ISIS has yet to officially acknowledge them.

 

Around 8 a.m.

The suspect in photos

The Southern Police District releases photos of the alleged suspect.

He is seen standing near a staircase, clad in black clothes with a bonet and jacket. He carries a baby armalite.

 

9:50 a.m.

No flight cancellations

The Philippine Airlines says its operations in NAIA terminals 2 and 3 are back to normal but some flights may still be delayed.

MIAA says there were no flight cancellations or diversions after the two-hour closure, during which the MIAA security has been on high alert status.

 

10:30 a.m.

Death toll rising

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Southern Police District Director Tomas Apolinario confirms there were 25 dead bodies found inside Resorts World Manila.

The death toll quickly rises to 34.

At around 11:20 a.m., Metro Manila Police Chief Oscar Albayalde says 37 dead bodies were found inside Resorts World Manila, including the gunman. Police later clarify the death toll is at 36.

Police say most of the casualties were found in the casino's gaming area.

They died due to suffocation from smoke when the suspect burned carpets using the gasoline he brought with him, according to the scene of the crime operatives. The suspect did this during the hot pursuit with the police so he won't be visible on the CCTV.

Albayalde also tells CNN Philippines the lone gunman looks Caucasian and speaks in English. He dismisses claims there was more than one suspect, saying the gunman acted alone from start to end, based on CCTV footage.

Albayalde reiterates there is no threat of terrorism in Metro Manila.

If the gunman were a terrorist, he would have shot everybody in the area, Albayalde says.

 

Around 11:30 a.m.

More details

Resorts World management releases a statement, saying 22 guests and 13 employees died.

 

The company says it has extended assistance to 54 individuals who were hurt from the incident.

It maintains all its equipment were functioning properly, amid the police's pronouncement that the establishment's sprinklers and fire alarm system would be subject to an investigation.

Only the security personnel outside the casino were armed, those inside were not, the management adds, while insisting there were no lapses in security on their part.

 

3:30 pm

36 dead

Officials of Resorts World Manila and the Southern Police District tell the media 36 were killed in the tragic incident, including the gunman.

They release names of the casualties.

Resorts World management says the company's security shot and wounded the gunman before he locked himself up in a room to commit suicide.

The police, meanwhile, refuse to comment on the gunman's identity.

 

6:30 pm

NCRPO Chief Albayalde gives a new figure on the number of fatalities found in the building, which is now at 38 including the gunman.

Albayalde also reveals that the police also have no "person of interest" yet as the car previously identified to belong to the gunman turned out to be the wrong vehicle. However, he says investigators are certain that the attacker came into the hotel in a car as CCTV footage showed him coming from the second floor parking area.

 

June 3, 2017

Around 9 a.m.

Authorities have identified the gunman, Southern Police District's Apolinario tells CNN Philippines.

Apolinario says the police cannot disclose the suspect's identity while the investigation is ongoing.

5:50 p.m.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella says the robbery does not constitute rebellion and invasion, and thus, is not grounds for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law.

Around 6:00 p.m.

The Resorts World management shows CCTV footage of Friday's incident, from the time the lone gunman entered the establishment up to the time he torched casino gaming tables, fired warning shots, and locked himself up in a room.

Contrary to what the Southern Police District earlier said, NCRPO Chief Albayalde says the police have not yet identified the gunman, and that they are still waiting for blood tests and DNA analysis.

 

June 4, 2017

Around 12 p.m.

In a press conference at the Remington Hotel, police identified the suspect in the Resorts World Manila attack as Jesse Carlos.

According to National Capital Region Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde, Carlos was a former employee of the Department of Finance who had gambling debts and money problems.

The Department of Finance (DoF) confirmed that Carlos was a former tax specialist at the agency's One Stop Shop Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center. He was sued by the DoF in 2011 for unexplained wealth and in 2014, the Ombudsman rejected his motion for reconsideration.

In April, Carlos's family requested that PAGCOR ban him from all casinos, owing to his gambling addiction. At the press conference, his family said they had no idea of Carlos's plans and asked forgiveness from the victims of the attack.

Albayalde said the latest information should dispel all speculations of a terror attack.

He added he considers this a "case closed on the part of the suspects, but the investigation on the part of the management will go on."

Moving forward, Albayalde said a Security Summit with all security heads if hotels in Manila will happen on Wednesday. He added, security protocols will be discussed and they will be reviewed to identify gaps and what can be improved.

This is a developing story. Please refresh page for updates.