BOGOTA, Colombia -- A Vietnam veteran shot to death his mother, set her body afire, then killed six neighbors, strolled down the street to a posh restaurant for dinner and drinks, paid his tab and killed 21 diners 'with chilling calmness,' police said Friday.
Before embarking on the bloody rampage that ended in his own death Thursday night, 52-year-old Campo Elias Delgado told friends he was taking a trip 'to the other side.'
Officials were not sure whether the gunman killed himself or was shot by police.
'He was just like a Rambo,' said an employee at the restaurant where the killing spree ended.
In all, 29 people were killed -- including Delgado and a 6-year-old girl -- and 15 were wounded, two critically, authorities said.
The attorney general's office said it would try to clarify claims made by the families of several victims that some of the bullets may not match the caliber of guns that Delgado used.
A woman named Clemencia said she and her husband saw Delgado a few hours before the bloody rampage.
'Campo Elias told us about 7 that night that he loved us very much and that he would soon be going on a trip,' she said. 'He wouldn't tell me where he was going. He only said he'd be going to the other side.'
Most of his victims were dining in an expensive restaurant when Delgado entered, calmly had a meal and some drinks, then began shooting with two handguns, firing as many as 400 rounds of ammunition in 30 minutes, police and witnesses said.
Authorities said the killing spree began in the apartment Delgado shared with his mother, Rita Delgado. He killed her, wrapped her body in a blanket and set it on fire, then shot six other women to death in the same building.
Officials who appeared on the scene reportedly were distracted by the spreading fire, and Delgado escaped, authorities said. He went a few blocks to Pozzeto, an expensive Italian restaurant that he reportedly had frequented for more than a year.
'First he ate, then asked for the bill,' a waiter told reporters. 'Then he asked for two drinks and, after paying the bill, he stood up and began shooting in all directions.'
Investigative Judge Luceli Echeverri de Henao said Delgado committed the murders 'with chilling calmness,' carefully aiming at the heads of many of the victims.
'Many had wounds in the forehead,' she said.
Delgado's relatives said he was an electronics engineer who served in a parachute squadron in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam war. They said he kept medals from the war in his bedroom.
In Washington, no confirmation of Delgago's military record was available from the Pentagon.
Bogota's RCN radio network reported that he spent 13 years in the U.S. armed forces, serving two tours of duty in Vietnam and later working in the medical corps. He was 'one of the top students' in an administration course and remained in the military until 1978, the radio said.
Delgado, who reportedly carried the two guns and a knife in a briefcase and had extra ammunition strapped around his waist, 'fired at everything that moved,' a restaurant employee said.
'Panic broke out immediately,' Judge Echeverri said.
'Men ran, women threw themselves to the floor.' she said. 'He was very fast with the guns. He was totally professional. People were falling one by one on the floor of the restaurant, some dying immediately and others seriously wounded.'
People who identified themselves as acquaintances of Delgado said his Vietnam service ended when he was wounded in the war, but that he lived for a time in the United States making a marginal living repairing electronic equipment.
'He was quiet, cold, calculating and uncommunicative,' one person said in describing him.
Delgado's acquaintance Clemencia said Delgado had once told here he was married twice -- once in Argentina and the second time in the United States.