Gunman Killed in Philippines Bus Hostage

A sniper bullet to the head of a dismissed police officer finally ended a gripping hostage drama in the Philippines capital of Manila on Monday, where the lone gun man held hostage for almost 12 hours a tourist bus with 25 people on board.

At least eight people, including hostage taker Rolando Mendoza, were killed, according to local officials. Mendoza, chief of Manila’s mobile patrol unit before he was relieved and later dismissed on extortion charges, was demanding that the Office of the Ombudsman approve a motion for reconsideration of the guilty verdict slapped against him, Manila Vice-Mayor Isko Moreno said in an interview with CNN.

At least 15 passengers and the driver are confirmed to have survived the tragic hostage-taking, which began when an armed Mendoza stopped the tourist bus and asked for a lift to the Quirino Grandstand only to later declare that he was taking control of the vehicle.

Mendoza released eight of the hostages earlier in the day, raising hopes that the standoff would end quickly. However,  hopes of an early settlement faded as Mendoza’s self-imposed deadline for the government to approve his demand lapsed at 3pm. Fears of a bloody encounter and hostage deaths started to become real around four hours later when shots rung out from inside the bus.

The end came when police succeeded in opening the emergency door of the bus and sneak in tear gas, which caused Mendoza to show himself to snipers.