Ex-Security Guard Releases Hostages After 10 Hours

Filipino man accused mall bosses of corruption
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 3, 2020 12:11 AM CST
Ex-Security Guard Frees Hostages After 10 Hours
Former security guard Alchie Paray, right, talks to media shortly after releasing all his hostages at the V-mall in Manila, Philippines, Monday, March 2, 2020.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

A recently dismissed security guard freed dozens of hostages and was subdued by police after walking out of a shopping mall in the Philippine capital on Monday, ending a daylong hostage crisis in an upscale commercial district near the police and military headquarters, officials said. The former guard at the Greenhills shopping center, identified by police as Alchie Paray, left the mall in San Juan City in metropolitan Manila with the remaining hostages, who were then secured by police, the AP reports. Several others had managed to escape earlier, police said. "Everyone is in shock, very traumatized. We’ll have to give them time to recover," said San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, who ordered an investigation, including into how the suspect was able to enter the mall with a pistol and grenades.

Instead of being immediately arrested, the suspect was allowed to speak for several minutes to journalists to describe his grievances against his former bosses, whom he accused of corruption and abuse, before police approached and subdued him. Zamora said the suspect had a pistol with him when he walked down from a second-floor administrative office where he had held dozens of hostages, many of them mall employees, for around 10 hours. Other people hid in nearby offices and hallways and escaped in batches, the mayor said. He said the gunman shot and wounded a former colleague before taking hostages. In a bid to appease the suspect during the hostage crisis, six officers in charge of mall security apologized to Paray for “shortcomings” and resigned or offered to quit.

(Read more Philippines stories.)

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