BANGKOK: A Thai soldier killed a minimum of 17 folks and wounded 21 others in a live-streamed taking pictures on Saturday (Feb eight) within the northeastern metropolis of Korat and continues to be at giant at a shopping center, police spokesman Krissana Phathanacharoen stated in a message despatched to reporters.
Shootings are uncommon within the Southeast Asian nation aside from within the far south, the place a decades-old insurgency persists.
“We do not know why he did this. It seems he went mad,” stated defence ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit.
Thai military chief Apirat Kongsompong issued an order for native military commanders to hurry to the scene and examine.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed condolences to the households of these killed, a authorities spokeswoman stated.
The gunman, recognized by police as Sergeant Main Jakapanth Thomma, stole a military car and likewise posted photographs and video of himself in full tactical gear because the assault in Korat was carried out.
The person had posted on his Fb web page earlier within the day that “Demise is inevitable for everybody.” He additionally posted an image of what seemed to be his hand holding a gun.
The soldier had opened hearth at completely different places within the metropolis, which is greater than 250km from Bangkok, Phathanacharoen stated in a message despatched to reporters.
Video and photographs circulating on-line confirmed panicked scenes, with folks fleeing and what seemed to be the sound of automated gunfire filling the air.
In response to social media posts, the gunman additionally opened hearth inside a shopping center, Terminal 21 Korat.
The shooter was nonetheless within the mall and had not but been apprehended.
In a fast-moving incident, authorities couldn’t verify native media stories the gunman had taken as much as 16 hostages.
Native media confirmed footage of the soldier getting out of a automobile in entrance of a shopping center and firing a sequence of photographs, sending folks working. Gunshots might be heard on the video.
One video from a bystander confirmed a person slumped on the wheel of a automobile in a pool of blood. It was unclear if he was among the many lifeless. One other video confirmed a minimum of 4 individuals who had clearly been shot and confirmed no signal of motion.
A lady interviewed by Thailand’s Channel One tv stated she had heard gunshots when she was on the shopping center and hid in a clothes retailer with different folks earlier than escaping.
The shooter had initially gone to a home within the metropolis and shot two folks lifeless, earlier than going to the weapons retailer on a military base and taking a brand new gun, native police stated.
He additionally shot at folks on the military base, they added.
In a single Fb video, the assailant, sporting a military helmet, filmed from an open jeep saying, “I am drained… I am unable to pull my finger anymore” and making a set off image along with his hand.
He had additionally posted “Ought to I quit?” and “Effectively I finished already”.
Different posts that adopted stated “Getting rich from dishonest (corruption) and profiting from others. Do they suppose they’ll take their cash to make use of in hell?” and “Are these three lifeless but?”
There have been additionally photographs of a person in a ski masks holding up a pistol.
His account was later inaccessible.
A number of social media customers additionally posted snippets of what seemed to be a livestream of the gunman panning the video to indicate the realm round him.
Fb despatched its condolences to the victims and their households and stated there was no place on Fb for anybody who commits or helps such atrocities.
“We’ve got 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,” it stated.
Thailand has one of many highest charges of gun possession on the earth however mass shootings by troopers concentrating on civilians are uncommon.
A number of shootings at courthouses late final 12 months additionally renewed concern about gun violence within the Southeast Asia nation.
In a single high-profile case, two legal professionals have been shot lifeless by a clerk at a court docket within the east of the nation throughout a listening to over a land dispute.
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