Gunman went beserk in final moments of Philippine siege

Gunman went beserk in final moments of Philippine siege

Ex-policemen Rolando Mendoza herded his terrified hostages to the rear of the bus while keeping commandos at bay with gunfire, according to results of a police inquiry into Monday's siege in which eight Hong Kong tourists died. The chaotic standoff finally ended when police shot him eight times.

"Mendoza suffered eight gunshot wounds, (including) two on the neck and one on the head that were fatal," national police spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz told reporters as he released preliminary results of the inquiry. The highly agitated Mendoza managed to slow the commandos' assault with his tactics for about an hour, but an officer involved in the inquiry said the hijacker panicked when tear gas was finally fired into the vehicle.

He ran towards the front of the bus to escape the tear gas, giving snipers a clear shot, said the officer, who did not want to be named. Cruz said forensics experts recovered 59 empty shells believed to be from Mendoza's M-16 rifle, as well as 31 from two other small firearms he was carrying.

Autopsies on five of the eight Hong Kong tourists who perished indicated they died immediately from their gunshot wounds, Cruz said. "Most of the gunshot wounds were in the back and neck," Cruz said, adding that families of the three other victims opted to have the autopsies carried out in Hong Kong.

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