Skip to main content

Gunman kills 9 in house-to-house rampage in Philippine town

By Tim Schwarz and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 10:42 AM EST, Fri January 4, 2013
Police investigate the scene of a gun battle in Kawit, about 40 km south of Manila on January 4, 2013.
Police investigate the scene of a gun battle in Kawit, about 40 km south of Manila on January 4, 2013.
  • Children are reported to be among the casualties
  • Authorities say they killed the gunman and are searching for an accomplice
  • Gun crime was already a sensitive issue after a girl was killed earlier this week

(CNN) -- A gunman went door-to-door near the Philippine capital Friday, shooting and killing at least nine people in his neighborhood, authorities said.

The attacker, Ronald Bae, injured several others in Kawit, said Joseph Camaret, a local police officer. The town is about 20 kilometers south of central Manila.

Read more: In Philippines, clans and guns still rule

Bae was subsequently killed in a gun battle with officers who tried to persuade him to surrender, police said.

Authorities are searching for a suspect they believe acted as an accomplice in the attack.

The shooting injured 11 others, according to the official Philippine News Agency. It said casualties included children, but did not specify whether the death toll included the gunman.

Police are still investigating the motive for the attack.

Before the shooting, Filipinos had been debating whether their country, where gun crimes are frequent, needs stricter controls on firearms.

The concerns had been prompted by the death of a 7-year-old girl, Stephanie Ella, who was shot in the head amid celebratory gunfire on New Year's Eve, according to CNN affiliate ABS-CBN.

A 4-year-old boy was also killed by a stray bullet on the same day, ABS-CBN reported. But it was Stephanie's death, which happened while she was watching fireworks with her father, that set off soul-searching about gun ownership in the Philippine news media.

"This incident should not be allowed to become just another statistic," Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement released Thursday.

The Philippines has enough laws governing the use of guns, he said, "but the problem has always been in the enforcement of the laws, especially those on loose firearms."

The country's Firearms and Explosives Office says there were 1.2 million registered firearms in the Philippines as of last year, ABS-CBN reported. On top of that, the office estimates there were 600,000 unlicensed firearms in circulation nationwide.

The Philippines has a population of 104 million people.

Read more: Death toll from Typhoon Bopha tops 1,000 in the Philippines

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.