- Thai authorities have confirmed that there are at least 20 fatalities and 31 injured.
- The soldier's first attack began at around 3:30 PM when he shot and killed his commander and two others at the Surathampithak army camp.
- The police identified the suspect who, hours before the shooting, posted on his Facebook page where he wrote that "death is inevitable for everyone."
A Thai soldier has killed at least 20 people in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, northeast of Bangkok. The information regarding the attack was released by the Thai Defense Ministry. “There are about 20 dead,” Kongcheep Tantravanich, Defense Ministry spokesman said. The attack occurred in several parts of the city and the soldier is reportedly currently hiding in a huge shopping mall in the city.
Thai authorities have confirmed that there are at least 20 fatalities and 31 injured. The shooter is described by the police as a soldier enraged by a land dispute. The Thai Minister of Public Health said that the bodies of the 20 people, whose death was confirmed, had already been removed from the building.
An operation carried out by the authorities aided in the removal of hundreds of people who were still inside the building. A Thai Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters that “police officers and soldiers have joined forces” and helped evacuate the building. Before the attack, Thai media reported that the man was on the fourth floor and had sixteen hostages.
According to the Thai newspaper Bangkok Post, the soldier’s first attack began at around 3:30 PM when he shot and killed his commander and two others at the Surathampithak army camp. He then stole weapons and ammunition and fled in a stolen vehicle. Then he shot at civilians near a shopping center, around 6 PM local time. Images show the man getting out of the car and shooting towards several people, who try to escape from the scene.
The first provisional balance sheet pointed to the existence of 21 wounded, but authorities warned of the likelihood that these numbers could rise in the next few hours. The police identified the suspect who, hours before the shooting, posted on his Facebook page where he wrote that “death is inevitable for everyone.”
The soldier also published an image of what appeared like his hand holding a pistol. This Saturday afternoon, Facebook announced that it had deleted the suspect’s account. In the same statement, the company promised to pay special attention to images and videos that could break usage policies. During the shooting, several people shared photographs of dead bodies on the city streets.
After starting the shooting, the suspect posted on social media where he asked if he should give up. The man opened fire elsewhere in the city, which is about 250 kilometers from the capital, Bangkok. The sniper reportedly issued images of the attack via Facebook, but the account was quickly deleted.
Thai authorities isolated the city center in an attempt to locate and arrest the soldier. Early in the evening (local time), the spokesman for the Thai Defense Minister, Kongcheep Tantrawanit, said that the motivations behind this attack were not yet known. “We don’t know the reasons. It looks like he went crazy,” he said.