Gunman went berserk in final moments of Philippine siege

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 18:22

Manila: The hijacker of a bus in the
Philippines fired dozens of bullets from an assault rifle and
two pistols while using his captives as shields during the
siege`s final moments, police said on Wednesday.

Ex-policemen Rolando Mendoza herded his terrified
hostages to the rear of the bus while keeping commandos at bay
with gunfire, according to results of a police inquiry into
Monday`s siege in which eight Hong Kong tourists died.
The chaotic standoff finally ended when police shot him
eight times.

"Mendoza suffered eight gunshot wounds, (including) two
on the neck and one on the head that were fatal," national
police spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz told
reporters as he released preliminary results of the
inquiry.

The highly agitated Mendoza managed to slow the
commandos` assault with his tactics for about an hour, but an
officer involved in the inquiry said the hijacker panicked
when tear gas was finally fired into the vehicle.

He ran towards the front of the bus to escape the tear
gas, giving snipers a clear shot, said the officer, who did
not want to be named.

Cruz said forensics experts recovered 59 empty shells
believed to be from Mendoza`s M-16 rifle, as well as 31 from
two other small firearms he was carrying.

Autopsies on five of the eight Hong Kong tourists who
perished indicated they died immediately from their gunshot
wounds, Cruz said.
"Most of the gunshot wounds were in the back and neck,"
Cruz said, adding that families of the three other victims
opted to have the autopsies carried out in Hong Kong.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 18:22

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