Manila gunman surrenders after taking 30 people hostage
MANILA : Once his bosses apologised, an armed former security guard who was holding 30 hostages in a mall near Manila surrendered.
In a dramatic standoff that lasted several hours yesterday, Archie Paray freed all the hostages from Virra Mall, at the Greenhills shopping complex in San Juan City.
Earlier in the day, Paray, who was armed with a pistol, shot a man as he entered the administration office of V-Mall with hostages and shouted he was carrying a grenade, according to San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora.
He demanded via FaceTime that his former employers at SASCOR Armor Security stand down for dismissing him.
Six company directors jointly resigned from their positions and apologised for aggrieving him, CNN reported.
"I'm asking for his forgiveness, and because of this, I'll resign from my job so this crisis will come to an end," one of the directors said.
Paray later gave assurances that the hostages would be released without harm.
At one point, one of the mall guards held up a smartphone to the media, during which Paray panned his camera around the room to show the hostages were alive.
"Just wait, they will come out alive," he said.
After he walked out of the mall, Paray held a short news conference.
He said he had taken the people hostage because he was angry at the way things were done at the company, adding that there was rampant corruption there.
The man he shot was reported to be stable in hospital.
Paray was sacked by the company that provides security for the mall, and had tried to get other guards involved in what Mayor Zamora said was "some sort of coup d'etat against the mall management".
The mall is near an upscale residential enclave, a golf club and the police and military headquarters, ABC News reported.
The incident brought back memories of the high-profile 2010 hostage-taking in Manila that ended with the deaths of eight tourists from Hong Kong, AFP reported.
That day-long ordeal started when a former police officer, armed with an M-16 assault rifle, hijacked a bus near Rizal Park, a popular tourist destination just a few blocks from police headquarters, in a desperate bid to get his job back.