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URGENT Bogota Gunman Kills Mother, Sets Her on Fire, Slays 18 Others

December 5, 1986

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) _ A gunman killed 21 people Thursday in a rampage that started with the murder of his mother and ended with his shooting by police at a pricey Italian restaurant filled with diners, police said.

The man was identified as Campo Elias Delgado, 52, who died of several police gunshots in the head, according to criminal investigator, Judge Gloria Lucena.

Investigators said 13 diners were killed by Delgado at the Pozzetto restaurant in northeast Bogota, and two died later in a hospital. Five people, all young professional women or students, were killed when they opened their apartment doors earlier and Delgado shot them, police said.

Police had no motive for the rampage. The type of weapon and the number of people wounded was not immediately available.

They said the bloodbath started early Thursday evening when Delgado shot his mother, 72-year-old Rita Delgado, in the apartment they shared. The authorities said he covered her body with newspapers and set it afire.

Police accounts said Delgado then went to three other apartments in the building and opened fire on anyone opening the doors.

The gunman then walked about 10 blocks to the restaurant, carrying a small suitcase, was seated, placed an order, and began reading an English-language magazine.

Suddenly, according to police and witness accounts, he began shooting indiscriminately, sending diners fleeing for cover.

″He was a madman. He kept shooting and shooting,″ said Juan Guillermo Gomez, one of the diners. Gomez said between 30 and 35 people were in the Pozzetto restaurant, including the staff, when the shooting started.

Ms. Lucena, one of two criminal investigators who went to the scene, said the gunman had ammunition in the small suitcase he carried and in a belt.

Police experts said about 400 rounds appeared to have been fired.

Gomez said police arrived, and with loudspeakers ordered the gunman to give himself up, but that he kept shooting, firing at the heaps of people already wounded.

″At first, we thought the shots were firecrackers,″ Gomez said of the start of the bloodbath. Firecrackers are commonly used in Latin American countries during the Christmas holidays. ″Then, we realized it was a madman at the bar, shooting at all of us.″

Among the diners, police said, were staff of the weekly magazine ″Vea,″ or Look. Police said Editor Jairo Gomez Remolina, one of Colombia’s top crime reporters, was shot to death.

Ms. Lucena said an Italian citizen, Giorgia Pindi Banelli, was also killed.

She said most of the victims were shot in the head.

″I have never seen so much blood in my life,″ she said. ″I had to interrupt proceedings concerning the corpses because I felt I was going to faint. I had to have some fresh air,″ she told reporters who went to the restaurant.

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