Canadian shoots, kills 2 people at courthouse in Philippines: Police

Paramedics and police carry on a stretcher the body of Canadian national John Pope, outside a courtroom in Cebu city, in central Philippines January 22, 2013.

Credits: REUTERS


A Canadian man in his 60s opened fire in a courtroom in the Philippines on Tuesday, killing a doctor and a lawyer before shooting and killing himself, police say.

John Pope was at the courthouse in Cebu City Tuesday morning to face a charge of "malicious mischief and grave threat."

Police say Pope pulled out a gun minutes before the hearing was to begin and shot the doctor who had brought the case against him and the doctor's lawyer.

Pope left the courtroom in the ensuing commotion. It's not clear how he was able to carry a handgun into the courthouse.

While walking towards the lobby of a building opposite to the court, Pope shot the state prosecutor handling his case at point-blank range, Reuters reported. The prosecutor is in critical condition in hospital, the National Bureau of Investigation said.

Police said they shot Pope in the arm, but he also shot himself in the head after falling to the floor, the bureau said.

The department of foreign affairs said Canadian officials are in contact with local authorities and are giving consular assistance to the family of the deceased Canadian, a spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon.

Pope used a .357 revolver in the shooting spree, the Philippine Star newspaper reported. After the shooting, police found another weapon, a .45-calibre pistol, in Pope's bag, the Star reported.

Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said in a statement that the shooting shows there was a "clear lapse in security" at the building, and asked the Supreme Court to investigate how Pope was able to enter the building armed.

— with files from Reuters

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