MANILA (Updated) -- At least 37 people were confirmed dead and dozens were injured after a gunman stormed Resorts World Manila and torched gambling tables in the crowded area before dawn Friday, June 2, police said.
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Oscar Albayalde said the gunman, who remains unidentified, was among the fatalities.
The gunman stuffed a backpack with casino chips before he fled, but he was found dead in an adjacent hotel early Friday of an apparent suicide.
The 36 other bodies were recovered by firefighters from the casino area at the building's second floor, all believed to have died from suffocation caused by smoke inhalation.
None of the bodies had gunshot wounds, said Albayalde.
The fire started after the gunman torched the gambling tables by pouring gasoline on them. He also set on fire a luxury car parked inside the casino.
Albayalde said the gunman set himself on fire then shot himself in the head.
He said they suspect that the gunman was mentally disturbed.
Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa earlier said the gunman was not a terrorist.
"He would have shot all the people gambling there" if it had been terrorism, he said. "But he did not hurt anyone."
Albayalde said there is no threat of terrorism in Metro Manila.
Authorities suspect the gunman's motive was robbery.
"It's either he lost in the casino and wanted to recoup his losses or he went totally nuts," Albayalde said. He saw no connection to the fighting in Marawi City in Mindanao.
Dela Rosa said security footage showed the gunman ignoring a guard who tried to question him at the entrance to the complex. He did not hurt the guard but went straight to the gambling area, Dela Rosa said.
The gunman stole gambling chips, shot TV screens and set gambling tables ablaze. It was not clear how he smuggled gasoline and an assault rifle into the crowded casino, but the assailant did not fire at people he encountered.
An additional 70 people or more suffered mostly minor injuries in the stampede to escape. The only gunshot wound was a guard at the complex, who accidentally shot himself when the suspect entered the room, authorities said. (With AP/SunStar Philippines)