A mass shooting at a daycare center in Northeastern Thailand left 34 people dead; 22 were children. The alleged attacker, a former police officer, later shot his wife and stepchild before using his weapon to take his own life on Thursday, bringing the total to according to Reuters.
The wounded included at least 12 additional people who are receiving medical care, according to Police Gen. Surachete Hakparn’s office. Eight of the victims are in serious condition.
Sheet-covered child-sized bodies lying in pools of blood video appeared on social media. Reuters reported that they “could not immediately authenticate the footage.”
Col. Jackrapat Wijitwaitaya, the Royal Thai Police officer in charge of the case, told NCB News that the daycare is located in Uthai Sawan in Nong Bua Bamphu Province. The officer reports that 19 boys and three girls are among those killed.
The gunman was identified as 34-year-old Panya Khamrab. Before his arrest for methamphetamine possession, the former police officer served at Na Wang Police Station in Nong Bua Bamphu Province.
Earlier in the day, the ex-police officer had been in court regarding his possession case. Police spokesman Paisan Luesomboon explained that Khamrab was already stressed when he arrived at the daycare center around lunchtime.
Former Police Officer Enters Daycare Facility
District Official Jidapa Boonsom told Reuters there were fewer children at the daycare center, possibly due to heavy rain. Reportedly, when the gunman entered the center at lunchtime, he shot as many as five adults, including a pregnant teacher.
At first, they thought the shots fired were fireworks. Jipapa added: “It’s really shocking. We were very scared and [ran] to hide once we knew it was a shooting. So many children got killed; I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The assailant also forced a locked door open. Jipapa said she thought Boonsom used a knife to kill the sleeping children.
After not finding his two-year-old stepson at the daycare, Khamrab drove home and turned the gun on himself but not before killing his wife and child.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Originally published on Guardian Liberty Voice
Reuters: Ex-cop kills 22 children, 12 others in Thailand daycare mass shooting; by Panarat Thepgumpanat, Martin Petty, Robert Birsel, Kim Coghill, and Clarence Fernandez
NBC News: At least 36 dead after former police officer opens fire at Thai daycare center; by Patrick Smith and Nat Sumon
CNN: Children among at least 36 people killed in child care center massacre in Thailand; by Kocha Olarn, Hannah Ritchie, and Heather Chen
Featured and Top Image by Adrien Bruneau Courtesy of Unsplash
Inset Image by Andreas Brucker Courtesy of Unsplash
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