Pope shot himself, witness says-A A +A
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
A WITNESS in the shooting incident that killed three people at the Palace of Justice last week issued an affidavit saying Canadian national John Pope shot himself.
The witness said in his affidavit that at 8:45 a.m. of Jan. 22, he was inside the electrical room on the building’s first floor, not far from fiscal Nicolas Sellon’s office, when he heard gunfire and a commotion outside.
The witness said he peeked through the door and saw Pope near the stairway leading to the second floor. Pope stepped back and shot himself in the head and fell, he said.
The witness said that after he saw what happened, he closed the door and stayed inside until he heard footsteps outside. He opened the door and saw policemen, media and other personnel as they rushed to where Pope fell.
Acting Cebu City Police Office Director Mariano Natuel Jr. said the case is closed.
Natuel said the evidence showed Pope killed himself. He cited the results of the post-mortem examination, the strand of hair on Pope’s firearm and the witness’ account.
Natuel said the ballistic test, post-mortem test, paraffin test and the witness’ testimony will be consolidated in a report to be submitted to Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr.
Natuel said Pope’s sister, Susan Webb, who was expected to claim the remains of her
brother, didn’t arrive in Cebu last Saturday.
He said Pope’s relatives could have already accepted that the man shot himself, Natuel said.
Pope’s remains were cremated last Friday night upon the request of his family, who also declined an autopsy and had the ashes released to a friend of Pope’s in Negros Occidental.
Pope shot himself after shooting Dr. Reynold Rafols, lawyer Jubian Achas and Assistant Prosecutor Maria Theresa Casiño.
Rafols and Achas died while Casiño remains in a private hospital.
The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) sent its condolences to the families of the two victims through a resolution.
The PB approved the resolution during its session yesterday.
“This assembly expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of Atty.
Achas and Dr. Rafols, and pledges to support them in their grief,” the resolution said.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said questions regarding the disappearance of Pope’s body are for Honorary Canadian Consul Robert Lee to answer.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 29, 2013.