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Thailand Mass Shooting: 22 Children, 8-month Pregnant Staff Among 34 Killed as Ex-Cop Storms Day-care Centre; Drives Home, Shoots Self, Family

By: News Desk

Edited By: Revathi Hariharan

News18.com

Last Updated: October 06, 2022, 17:26 IST

Bangkok

The gunman has also been identified as a former police officer who was fired from government service. (Photo: Local Media Agencies)

The gunman has also been identified as a former police officer who was fired from government service. (Photo: Local Media Agencies)

According to local media reports, Panya Khamrab who has been identified as the shooter has died. He reportedly drove back to his house after his shooting spree and then shot dead his wife and child before shooting himself.

At least 34 people including 22 children were murdered in a mass shooting in the northeastern province of Thailand, reports Reuters. Soon after the incident, the gunman reportedly drove back home and killed his wife and child, before shooting himself dead.

According to AFP, the attacker - an ex-police officer - was armed with a pistol and a knife when he stormed a day care centre Nong Bua Lam Phu province. He then went on a shooting spree killing children as young as two-three years old.  The gunman first shot four or five staff, including a teacher who was eight months pregnant, district official Jidapa Boonsom told Reuters adding that people initially thought the gunfire sound was just fireworks.

About 30 children were at the centre when the gunman came in around lunchtime, Boonsom added. The gunman fled the scene in a vehicle after his killing spree. As per reports, the gunman has been identified as Panya Khamrab - a police lieutenant colonel who was dismissed from the force last year for drug use.

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Earlier, cops had launched a manhunt for the shooter, and according to a government spokesman, the prime minister was monitoring the situation and had alerted all agencies to apprehend the culprit.

The mass killing comes just less than a month after a serving army officer shot dead two of his colleagues at a military training base in the capital Bangkok.

While Thailand has high rates of gun ownership, mass shootings are extremely rare, but in the past year, there have been at least two other cases of shooting murders by serving soldiers, according to the Bangkok Post, reports AFP.

ALSO READ: Gun for $600 Online, 4 Mn Illegal Firearms: Thailand Shooting Throws Spotlight on Nation’s Gun Culture

In 2020, in one of the kingdom’s deadliest incidents in recent years, a soldier gunned down 29 people in a 17-hour rampage and wounded scores more before he was shot dead by commandos.

(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)

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first published:October 06, 2022, 13:31 IST
last updated:October 06, 2022, 17:26 IST