The shooter, a soldier armed with an assault rifle, holed himself up in a mall and posted updates on Fb
Nakhon Ratchasima: The Thai soldier who killed at the least 20 individuals and holed up in a mall in a single day was shot lifeless Sunday morning by commandos, ending a near-17-hour ordeal which left dozens wounded and surprised the nation.
It was unclear how many individuals remained trapped contained in the Terminal 21 mall in Nakhon Ratchasima — also referred to as Korat — the place the gunman held out by way of the night time, armed with assault weapons stolen from his barracks.
Volleys of gunfire rang out because the siege bumped into daybreak, hours after Thai safety companies stormed the bottom flooring and freed scores of surprised, terrified consumers from a bloody rampage that the gunman — a junior military officer recognized as Sergeant-Main Jakrapanth Thomma — had relayed by way of Fb posts.
“He was shot lifeless thirty minutes in the past” (0200 GMT), chief of the Crime Suppression Division Jirabhob Bhuridej advised AFP.
Commandos from elite Thai police items killed the gunman, a police spokesman added, after an operation involving a whole lot of safety personnel.
“The official loss of life toll is 20 and wounded 42… 9 are in surgical procedure,” Narinrat Pitchayakamin, a Korat physician advised reporters, revising down an preliminary loss of life toll of 21.
But it surely was unclear if there have been extra victims contained in the multi-level complicated which was full of Saturday consumers when the gunman stormed in.
A fleet of ambulances left the entrance of the complicated and forensic police poured into the grim crime scene, shortly earlier than the gunman’s loss of life was confirmed.
The night time was peppered with heavy exchanges of gunfire and sporadic evacuations.
A police officer who took half in a raid to flush out the gunman died, in response to deputy prime minister Anutin Charnvirakul. “He had been hit and sadly, he could not make it,” stated Anutin.
Shocked evacuees recounted how an bizarre Saturday procuring day on the busy mall descended into horror because the gunman entered.
“It was like a dream… I am grateful I survived,” Sottiyanee Unchalee, 48, advised AFP, explaining she hid in the bathroom of a gymnasium contained in the mall as she heard the gunfire.
“I am so sorry for many who died… (and) the individuals nonetheless trapped inside.”
Jakrapanth relayed his taking pictures spree by way of Fb posts which charted the assault from the military barracks within the metropolis to the mall, the place an unknown variety of consumers remained trapped.
A volunteer rescue employee recounted a bloody scene of horror after his crew carried 4 corpses to the hospital.
“I’ve by no means seen something like this,” Peerapong Chatadee advised AFP.
“I simply really feel so unhappy. He’s a soldier, he mustn’t have fired at unarmed individuals.”
The bloodshed started Saturday afternoon when Jakrapanth shot three individuals — amongst them at the least one soldier — at a senior officer’s home after which on the close by military barracks, earlier than driving a military automobile to the city centre.
There the gunman used weapons stolen from the army arsenal to unleash carnage within the city centre.
He “used a machine gun and shot harmless victims leading to many injured and lifeless”, stated police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen.
All through the day, Jakrapanth posted photos of himself and wrote a number of posts on his Fb web page because the assault unfolded.
In a single Fb video — since deleted — the assailant, carrying a military helmet, filmed from an open-top jeep, saying, “I am drained… I can not pull my finger anymore” as he made a set off image together with his hand.
There have been additionally images of a person in a ski masks holding up a pistol.
A Fb spokesperson stated: “Now we have eliminated the gunman’s accounts from our companies and can work across the clock to take away any violating content material associated to this assault as quickly as we grow to be conscious of it.”
Town is dwelling to one of many largest barracks in Thailand, a rustic the place the army is enmeshed in politics and society.
The nation additionally has one of many highest charges of gun possession on the earth, and several other shootings at courthouses final yr renewed concern about gun violence.