Up on charges of  possessing illegal firearms, ‘malicious mischief and grave threat’ in the Philippines, Canadian John Pope was convinced someone was going to kill him.

Except in the very courtroom in Cebu City where 66-year-old Pope was being tried by  judge and jury, he pulled out a gun, shot and killed the doctor who’d filed the charges and a lawyer, wounded two others and then turned the weapon on himself.

And at a court appearance last May he claimed the case against him by local residents was rigged, that he carried a gun in self-defence and he was scared.

"I want to be prepared with this guy, because once he came to my apartment at two o' clock in the morning with two armed police officers and an armed body guard, with their guns out, swinging a baseball bat inches from my face,"

In the commotion that followed Pope after he fled the main courtroom into the lobby, police said they shot him  in the arm,, but he also shot himself in the head after falling to the floor. He was taken to hospital but later died of  gunshot wounds to the temple, arms and thighs.

Police in the Philippines do have a problem with unlicensed weapons. Their figures show there were 1.2 million registered firearms in the country last year, with a further estimated 600,000 being illegal.

 

Written and presented by Marverine Cole