11 July 2024

MANILA – After hours of negotiation, a disgruntled former security guard has released his 30 hostages and walked out of a Philippine shopping mall, ending a day-long hostage crisis in an upscale commercial district in this Philippine capital city.

 

Philippine media reported that the gunman, identified by police as Archie Paray, a former guard at the complex, left the V-Mall in suburban San Juan city on Monday evening with his hostages after he was allowed to air his grievances with the media.

He accused his former superiors of corruption and abuse.

 

Police say the man shot a security officer in the morning before barging into shopping complex, where he held dozens of people, mostly employees, hostage in an office. The number of hostages was initially reported to be around 30.

According to Philippine media, the hostage-taker was reportedly armed with a pistol and four grenades, but was convinced by San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora to leave his weapons before going down the mall.

 

“You have to leave behind your gun and grenades. You can’t come with the grenades. But I guarantee your safety,” the mayor told the gunman.

The Virra Mall, located in Greenhills, an up-scale part of the city, was evacuated during the hostage crisis which lasted about 10 hours. The shopping complex is popular for its restaurants, shops, bars and a bazaar.