Sacked mall guard holds dozens hostage; 1 hurt

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
Sacked mall guard holds dozens hostage; 1 hurt
A Special Weapons and Tactics team prepares to enter V Mall in Greenhills, San Juan yesterday. (inset) talks to negotiators through a video call.
Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — A man was shot and at least 30 people were held hostage yesterday by a disgruntled security guard who was fired from work at a mall in Greenhills, San Juan City.

The hostage-taker, Archie Paray, former security guard of V Mall, shot one of the guards as he entered its administration office on the second floor, according to Mayor Francis Zamora.

Paray was armed with a gun and grenades, Zamora, who served as one of the negotiators, said.

“He was upset after  he was fired from his job. He wanted to get the other guards to join him for some sort of coup against the mall management,” Zamora. 

The victim was taken to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center where he is in stable condition.

Zamora said the suspect was sacked by  Safeguard Armor Security Corp. (Sascor), which provides security for the mall.

The mayor said the hostage-taker demanded an audience with fellow guards and the media.

A Special Weapons and Tactics team entered the four-story mall, which has more than 100 outlets. Shoppers were evacuated and a security cordon established around the area.

The mall had been placed on lockdown following the hostage-taking incident.

According to the Greenhills shopping center management, most of the hostages were mall employees and vendors.

“Our priority is to ensure the safety of the employees and of the public,” the management said in a statement.

Col. Orlando Yebra of the Eastern Police District said the suspect had gone on absence without leave for two weeks.

 Fernando Solina, head of Greenhills corporate safety, clarified that Paray was not sacked.

Paray was dismayed that he had to be transferred to another post, Solina said.

In a video call aired in public by security officials of Greenhills shopping center, Paray accused Sascor officials  of corruption.

The officials of the security agency resigned from their posts yesterday and apoligized to Paray.

They are Sascor field officer Henry Tuason, mall security coordinator Salvador Capadocia, assistant director Frederick Salvador, general manager Oscar Hernandez, operations director Villamor Luis Jr. and Solina.

Paray released the hostages after authorities complied with his demands.

He walked out of the mall together with the hostages.  – With Emmanuel Tupas 

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