MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A gunman opened fire on a college campus in the Philippines’ capital region on Sunday, killing a former mayor of the city and two others in a brazen attack ahead of a graduation ceremony , police said.
The suspect was armed with two pistols and was captured in a car he commandeered while trying to escape from Ateneo de Manila University in suburban Quezon City, police said. He was blocked by witnesses and authorities outside the university gates.
The sprawling university has gone into receivership and the graduation rite at the campus law school has been cancelled, police said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who was supposed to speak at the ceremony, was asked to turn around en route to the event, officials said.
Newly elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. promised the attack would be promptly investigated and those responsible for the killings brought to justice. He is due to address a joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives on Monday, also in Quezon City, where police and other law enforcement had imposed a gun ban and tightened security before shooting.
“We are shocked and saddened by the events of Ateneo’s graduation today,” said Marcos Jr. “We mourn with those bereaved, those injured and those whose scars from this experience will be deep.”
Among those killed in the attack were Rosita Furigay, a former mayor of the town of Lamitan in the southern province of Basilan, her assistant and a university guard. Furigay’s daughter, who was due to attend the graduation, was injured and taken to hospital, according to a police report.
A photo from the scene showed one of the victims lying on the ground near a bouquet of flowers.
Investigators were trying to determine the motive for the attack, but Quezon City Police Chief Brig. General Remus Medina said the suspect, apparently a doctor, had a long-standing feud with Furigay.