Submit Press release  eTN Team ·  Advertising  ·  eTN Awards  - Worldtourism Events    

Northern Mariana Tourism Killing

Gunman in Saipan shoots at Korean tourists -5 dead, 8 injured

Nov 20, 2009

A man shot and killed four individuals before turning the gun on himself in two separate shootings in Marpi and Kannat Tabla.

Details of the shootings are still sketchy.

In the Kannat Tabla shooting, the fatalities were two men in their late 20s and early 30s, both local residents, and two children under 10 years old. The two adult victims sustained gunshot wounds in the head, and police are saying they were shot at close range.

The shooter then proceeded to Last Command Post and shot a group of mostly Korean tourists, wounding eight. The victims included two Korean children.

He then went to Banzai Cliff where he shot himself.

Health Secretary Joseph Kevin Villagomez confirmed with Saipan Tribune that five individuals are dead. Eight others are injured and “all are expected to live.”

He said four of those injured will be discharged.

Teresa Kim, legal counsel for Lt. Gov. Eloy Inos, said at least one was critically injured and in surgery.

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, in an announcement on FM radio station Power 99 at past 3pm, said “everything is now under control” and asked the public for calm.

Preliminary information stated that the gunman is an employee at the Marpi shooting range.

“Earlier today, I was alerted to a fatal situation in the Marpi and Kannat Tabla areas of Saipan. I want to extend my heartfelt remorse and sadness to the individuals and families that were affected. The lt. governor and I are monitoring the situation closely and working with officials from DPS and the FBI and we will continue to keep everyone informed,” Fitial said.

Fitial and Public Safety Commissioner Santiago Tudela will be holding a joint press conference at 4:15pm at the Department of Public Safety in Susupe.

“I want to assure the people of the Commonwealth and all of our visiting tourists that the Department of Public Safety has the situation under control and that the individual responsible for these tragedies took his own life,” he said.

The governor said all Public School System buildings followed the appropriate procedures and locked down all of the schools as of 1:30pm.

DPS gave the all clear signal to PSS and other agencies that the situation is under control and they can lift the lockdown.

Six South Korean tourists were wounded Friday in the Pacific resort island of Saipan as unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets, officials here said.

The Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that the gunman, who is presumed to be a local resident, shot some 10 bullets to the group of tourists in Marpi at 11 a.m.

"One of them was heavily wounded but he is not in a critical condition, while the other five were slightly wounded," a foreign ministry official said.

The heavy wounded is identified as a 29-year-old Park, according to the ministry.

Tourism is the major income for this U.S. territory. Most tourism arrivals are from Korea or Japan.

Gunman in Saipan shoots at Korean tourists -5 dead, 8 injured
Source: Saipan Tribune

Premium Partners