Amok cop prompts Manila police to call in SWAT team
A POLICEMAN ran amuck inside the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters on UN Avenue on Sunday afternoon, prompting authorities to put the place on lockdown for around 20 minutes.
At press time, investigators had yet to determine why PO1 Vincent Paul Solares fired several shots inside the police headquarters, right after he broke several framed pictures of MPD officials with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
All that Solares told the Inquirer was that he was mad at Estrada. “I don’t like people who make others suffer,” he said.
MPD investigators were still trying to verify what police station in the city Solares was assigned to—MPD Station 1 or 11—and whether he came to the headquarters voluntarily or was forcibly taken there.
There was an earlier report that he was arrested after he started grabbing by the collar people who were dressed in shirts that were orange— Estrada’s campaign color.
The Inquirer was interviewing witnesses at the MPD lobby around 3 p.m. when Solares, who was wearing a black jacket on top of his police uniform, was spotted walking from the men’s restroom on the ground floor to the staircase landing on the second floor.
People were suddenly startled when he took framed pictures from the walls and started breaking them. When he spotted the Inquirer taking a video of the incident, he told this reporter calmly: “Go ahead, ma’am, keep recording this.”
The noise made by breaking glass prompted PO2 Amelito Lopez of the MPD homicide section on the ground floor to come out of his office and call Solares’ attention. The suspect, however, ignored him.
When SPO3 Ronald Gallo of the nearby MPD general assignment section also called his attention, Solares took out his 9-mm gun and pointed it at him, Lopez and other policemen who were shouting at him to stop.
“Call the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics unit)! Call the SWAT!” Gallo and Lopez shouted as they ran inside their offices to get their own firearms.
Other armed policemen later ran to the lobby, followed by the arrival of the SWAT team. As they urged the suspect to surrender, he fired a shot at them and ran to the second floor.
Solares later ran down another staircase and tried to hide in another office where he was cornered by the SWAT team.
“He threw down his gun and surrendered after seeing the number of SWAT troops,” Gallo said.
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