The suspected shooter, a Thai soldier, took people hostage and barricaded himself inside inside a shopping mall with the hostages and an assault rifle, according to local news outlets.
The suspect streamed himself on Facebook Live Saturday evening local time, saying he was “tired, I can barely move my fingers,” according to the Bangkok Post. Shortly before posting the video, the suspected shooter wrote a social media post stating “nobody can avoid death,” and that “being rich from taking advantage of others, do they think they can use money in hell?”
The shooting comes around a month after another high-profile rampage in a mall in Lopburi in which three people died and four others were wounded. While gun purchases are legal in Thailand, mass shootings are rare, especially in the northern regions of the country, according to the Associated Press.
This story is still developing. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t:
What we know
- Saturday afternoon local time at the Suatham Phithak military installation in Nakhon Ratchasima, a Thai soldier shot and killed his commanding officer.
- A Thai Defense Ministry spokesman has identified the suspected shooter as 32-year-old Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma.
- The suspect is believed to have killed at least two other people at the base: A 63-year-old woman and a second soldier, before seizing weapons, ammunition, and a military vehicle.
- It is believed the suspect then drove to the city’s Terminal 21 shopping complex. He left his vehicle and entered the mall shooting.
- At least 20 people have been killed in total. At least 31 people have been wounded.
- Videos on social media show a large fire outside the mall, which some local outlets report was an explosion caused by a gas canister hit with a bullet.
- Officials say they have successfully evacuated more than 100 people from the mall as of 10:30 pm local time.
- Police are bringing the suspect’s mother to the scene in an attempt to convince him to stand down, they say.
- Police posted a “most wanted” photo on Twitter, urging people in nearby areas to be cautious.
What we don’t know:
- The exact number of those killed or wounded.
- Whether the suspect has any hostages.
- The condition of any possible hostages.
- The number and status of people left inside the mall.
- The shooter’s motive. Defense Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit told Reuters: “We don’t know why he did this. It appears he went mad.”
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