Three are dead in a courthouse shooting in the Philippines. Above is a photograph of the shooter's gun found at the scene.
The official Philippines News Agency (PNA) has reported that a gunman identified as John Pope "went berserk" at the courthouse in the city of Cebu, Philippines, on Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
John Pope, a Canadian national, entered the Palace of Justice at about 8:10 a.m. clad in jogging pants, long white shirt and with a body bag.Facing a criminal case in the courts, the gunman fatally shot the complainant in the case, who was a doctor, and the doctor's lawyer. The gunman also took his own life.
He was body-frisked and his bag was inspected.
Pope went directly to MTC Branch 6 as he has a scheduled hearing for malicious mischief case.
According to Prosecutor Noel A. Cellona, Pope greeted him when they met at the stair near the court room.
Cellona noticed nothing unusual in Pope.
Before the start of the hearing, Cellona heard two successive gun bursts.
He saw the complainant Dr. Rene F. Rafols and private prosecutor Juvian Achas lying dead on the ground.
After shooting the victims, Pope went out of the court room and proceeded to MTC Branch 1 opposite the building about 50 meters away.
While walking towards the lobby of MTC Branch 1, Pope met Prosecutor Ma. Theresa C. Casino, the public prosecutor handling his grave threat case.
Casino was point blank shot and was hit in her neck. She was immediately rushed to the hospital and is now in critical condition.
Pope was found dead at the stair of the ground floor with gun shot at the head.
He allegedly shot himself, according to PNP SOCO-7.
Recovered from Pope is a 6-shot 357 revolver with four bullets spent. He was declared dead and his body was brought by the PNP SOCO-7 in Cebu City. (PNA)
The Supreme Court has now tightened security measures on all courts nationwide following the incident in the Palace Hall of Justice in Cebu where three people were killed including a lawyer, doctor and the gunman.
Other violence has swept through the Philippines in recent gun violence. Earlier this month, a gunman went from house to house in a town near the capital, Manila, killing at least 9 people. On New Year's Eve, a 7-year-old girl died after being shot in the head amid celebratory gunfire.
The country's Firearms and Explosives Office says there were 1.2 million registered firearms in the Philippines as of last year. Also, the office estimates there were 600,000 unlicensed firearms in circulation nationwide.
American John Popes
The name Pope is from the Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας (pappas), a child's word for father. The familiar terms "Pop" and "Pops" for "father" are derivatives.
The name of the Cebu courthouse shooter, Canadian John Pope, is one that has a prosaic sound in America, in relationship to the military and spying, in reality and in fiction. This appears to be related to the founding nature of the Pope family in US History.
Some insights into the linkages of a Kentuckian named John Pope (February 1770 – July 12, 1845), U.S. politician, senator for Kentucky (served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Eleventh Congress), and governor of Arkansas Territory, gives a notion of the Pope power family.
From July 1 to October 24, 1861, he was attached to the Gulf Squadron commanding Richmond. He participated in the search for CSS Sumter in the West Indies while on his way to join the Gulf Blockading Squadron, assisted in the blockade of the passes of the Mississippi River and took part in the engagement with Confederate States’ vessels at the Head of Passes October 12, 1861. He died January 14, 1876, in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Allen Pope, 1960, Indonesia, shot down flying a B-26 bomber in Indonesia in May 1958, flying for the CIA in support of Indonesian rebels and against the Government of Indonesia. Sentenced to death, the US brokered his release, but he spent four years in an Indonesian jail. Source.