3 die in bizarre shooting incident inside National Center for Mental Health
MANILA, Philippines —What was supposed to be a regular visit to the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City turned tragic when three people died in a bizarre shooting incident Thursday afternoon.
A report from the police said the incident took place at the Visitors Area, Ward 1, Pavillion 6 of the institution at around 2 p.m. and involved an 80-year-old grandfather, his 78-year-old wife and their 27-year-old grandson who was a patient at the mental institution.
Police said the grandson and the grandfather died on the spot while the grandmother was pronounced dead at 4:55 p.m. while undergoing emergency treatment at the hospital’s infirmary. Police declined to reveal the identities of those involved due to the sensitive nature of the case.
The police recovered from the scene one caliber .45 pistol, one magazine loaded with two unfired bullets, one live bullet in its chamber and five spent shells and three slugs.
Mandaluyong Chief Colonel Moises Villaceran Jr. said the grandfather was a frequent visitor at the institution which explains how he was able to gain the trust of the hospital personnel and sneaked in the pistol inside a brown envelope.
“He [referring to the grandfather] was a frequent visitor at the institution which was why was able to gain the trust of the personnel,” Villaceran said.
Witnesses said prior to the shooting, the three were heard talking of family matters when the grandfather suddenly shot his grandson, then turned to shoot his wife before pointing the gun to his head.
Villaceran said the father of the 27-year-old victim earlier warned hospital personnel not to allow the grandfather inside the institution.
The Department of Health (DOH) in a statement said “we are saddened by the tragic event that unfolded at the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) and we offer our condolences to the family of the victims.”
“Due to the sensitivities of the issue involving the patient, we ask for privacy for the bereaved family,” it added.
The DOH assured that no other patients and NCMH staff were hurt in the incident and that the hospital is in full operation and functioning normally. /muf
The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public, especially those who may have mental health issues, that they can contact the DOH’s 24/7 Hopeline to either help them unburden their emotional baggage or to seek professional help. Hopeline can be reached via hotlines 804-HOPE (4673); 0917-558-HOPE (4673); or 2919 (toll-free number for Globe and TM subscribers).
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