A Canadian man opened fire inside a Philippines court room today, killing two men and wounding a woman before turning the gun on himself.
Called a retired journalist, 63-year-old John Pope smuggled a .357 revolver handgun inside a rolled-up newspaper past security and into the courtroom.
At the center of the shooting at the Cebu City courthouse was a neighborhood dispute between Pope and one of his victims, Dr. Rene Rafols.
The other victim was Rafols’s lawyer, Jovian Atias. They were at the court in an attempt to settle ongoing disputes.
“A few minutes before the court (began) its session at around 8:30 a.m., more or less, prosecutor (Noel) Cellona heard two successive gun bursts,” the police report says, according to the Globe.
“He saw Dr. Rafols and attorney Atias lying dead on the ground.”
Pope then left the courtroom and shot another prosecutor, Maria Teresa Casiño, in the neck, ABS-CBN News reported. She was recovering in hospital.
Police confronted Pope near a stairwell, shooting him several times in the arms and legs before he shot himself in the head and died.
Pope and Atias had long feuded inside their shared condo complex, ABS-CBN reported.
Atias accused Pope of barging into his apartment, while Pope also faced weapons charges, CBC News said.
Pope was well known to Cebu City media and had campaigned editors and reporters to write favorable stories about his case.
He told a local media outlet that Pope tried to bully him.
“This guy, Rafols, once came to my apartment at 2 o’clock in the morning with two armed police officers and an armed bodyguard with their guns out and swung a baseball bat inches from my face,” Pope told reporters, according to CBC.
He was reportedly faced a deportation order out of the Philippines, ABS-CBN said.
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