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Debriefing for court personnel; shooter faced ‘unresolved anger’

07:05 AM January 25, 2013

LAST Tuesday’s shooting rampage waged by Canadian John Pope in the Palace of Justice that claimed two lives and injured another person can be considered a form of “impulsive suicide”, an expert on human behavior said Wednesday.

Dr. Renato D. Obra, chief of the Behavioral Sciences Department of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMCC), said Pope’s decision to kill himself may be his way of appeasing himself of his deep anger when he failed to find the person who had embittered him.

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A stress debriefing will be conducted for staffers of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 6 in the wake of the tragic incident.

MTCC-6 officer-in-charge Kim Solon said most of the staffers were traumatized by the incident.

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He said most of them couldn’t sleep at night and were afraid to go inside the courtroom.

“They remain in a state of shock,” Solon said.

Fr. Monico Catubig will help in the debriefing that will be started on Monday.

Pope shot his accuser, Dr. Rene Rafols and lawyer Juvian Achas in the courtroom before shooting Assistant City Prosecutor Ma. Theresa Casiño. The Canadian reportedly shot himself after being cornered by police.

Casiño survived the shooting and is currently under observation at the intensive care unit of Chong Hua Hospital (See Page 1 story).

Court hearings were suspended since Tuesday.

Fr. Catubig yesterday celebrated a second Mass for the victims.

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Obra said Pope’s aggressive behavior is known in psychology as intermittent explosive behavior.

He said people with that kind of behavior can at their peak of anger or rage commit unexpected acts that they normally won’t do.

Anger displacement

“Normally, people are able to find ways of dealing with anger such as anger displacement. You find activities wherein you can release your anger,” Dr. Obra said.

Hours after the shooting on Tuesday, police inspected Pope’s house on Siloy Street.

Newspaper clippings and photocopies of articles are pasted on the walls while some were on top of a table.

A clipping of an article about Cebu’s “richest” prosecutors that was published in Cebu Daily News’s May 17, 2012 edition was among those on the wall with his marginal notes on three prosecutors that he said have wronged him.

Police also found a note in one of the rooms on the second floor dated Jan. 1, 2012 and addressed to a certain Genevive. Correspondent Caryl Baylon, Jhunnex Napallacan and Christine Emily L. Pantaleon with Reporter Jucell Marie P. Cuyos

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