More than 30 people, including a dozen children, were slain Thursday when a shooter stormed a childcare center in Thailand and continued firing from his car as he escaped.
There has never been a mass shooting of this scale in the country before. An ex-cop has been named as the suspect who shot and killed his family before ending his own life.
Blood was splattered over the floor of one room and sleeping mats were strewn around in photos and videos of the daycare that were released online. The walls were covered with bright decorations and pictures of the alphabet.
Images of distraught relatives sobbing outside the building appeared on recordings. There were police officers and medical personnel milling about, and ambulances were on standby.
A witness informed Thai news station Kom Chad Leuk that they had closed the door when they spotted the suspect coming in with a firearm, but that the guy managed to shoot his way inside.
The instructor who passed away was holding a youngster, the unidentified lady stated. When he shot at the door and went through it, “I didn’t imagine he would murder children.”
The perpetrator, a former police officer, entered the child care center in the northeastern Thai town of Nong Bua Lamphu at about midday, according to authorities.
Upon hearing gunfire, the assailant reportedly opened fire on the building, striking and killing twenty-two children and two adults before fleeing. Police Maj. Gen. Paisal Luesomboon told The Associated Press that he resumed shooting from his vehicle.
Panya Kamrap, a 34-year-old former police officer, has been named as the suspect. In an interview with PPTV, Paisel explained that he was dismissed from the police service earlier this year due to drug-related charges.
Paisel said the suspect used a revolver, a shotgun, and a knife in the attack. When he got home, authorities say he slaughtered his family before taking his own life. Outside the daycare, he allegedly killed his wife and kid, in addition to two other children and nine adults.
Deaths caused by firearms in Thailand are fewer than in nations with looser gun control regulations, including the United States and Brazil, but higher than in countries like Japan and Singapore. As of 2019, the rate of mortality caused by firearms was around 4 per 100,000 people, compared to 11 per 100,000 in the United States and approximately 23 per 100,000 in Brazil.
A clerk at Thailand’s Army War College in Bangkok shot and killed two coworkers and injured another last month before being apprehended.
The previous biggest mass shooting in the nation was in 2020, when a disgruntled soldier opened fire in and around a mall in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, killing 29 people and holding off security officers for nearly 16 hours before he was killed by them.
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