Canadian man shoots dead two, kills himself in Philippine courtroom

Featured - January 23rd, 2013

A Canadian man opened fire on a Philippine courtroom on Tuesday, killing two people before turning the gun on himself.

The man, identified by authorities as 66-year-old John Pope, was facing charges of illegal possession of firearms, malicious mischief and grave threats in a court in Central Cebu city, when he pulled out a gun and shot dead a lawyer and physician who filed the case against him.

Conflicting reports claim authorities shot Pope, but police say that they shot Pope in the arm before he shot himself in the head, according to Al Jazeera.

A prosecutor was seriously wounded in the shooting and is in critical condition in a hospital.

Pope, a retired journalist, was held for the same charges in 2011. Dr. Reynold Rafols, the physician who was killed in Tuesday’s shooting after giving evidence had accused Pope, his neighbor, of brandishing a weapon and threatening him and other residents in their condominium complex, CBC News reports.

Pope had been quoted by ABS-CBN News as saying that he wanted “to be prepared” and was carrying a pistol for self-defense.

He carried a Canadian passport but was born in the US and was living in the Philippines for several years, police say.

The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration claimed Pope was facing deportation for being an “undesirable and overstaying alien” in the country, but managed to stay by filing a motion for reconsideration with the Department of Justice, according to local media GMA News.

Although Cebu City police says Pope’s passport was valid until November 2016.

Tuesday’s shooting came amid calls for tighter gun control in the country following a spate of gun-related incidents.