Man kills 2 in Philippine courtroom

MANILA — A Canadian man opened fire Tuesday in a central Philippine courtroom, killing two people and wounding another before he was shot by a police officer.

The incident marks the latest in a series of high-profile shootings in the Philippines that have prompted calls for greater controls on gun ownership.


Private gun ownership is legal but regulated in the Philippines and the country has an enthusiastic gun culture, similar to that of the United States though on a much smaller scale.

The gun-control debate was revived in the Philippines on Jan. 2 when a 7-year-old girl in Manila died after being hit in the head by a stray bullet during celebratory New Year’s gunfire.

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In the incident Tuesday in Cebu, police said the gunman, John Pope, smuggled two pistols into a court hearing involving a dispute with his neighbor, a surgeon. Pope opened fire during the proceedings, killing his neighbor and the neighbor’s lawyer and wounding one other person. Pope died of a gunshot wound but the authorities gave different accounts as to whether he died from police fire or whether he shot himself.

New York Times

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