Thailand Shooting: 26 Dead, 57 Injured; Gunman Soldier Shot Dead

Video taken outside the mall and shared on social media showed people taking cover in a parking lot.

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Thailand Shooting: 26 Dead, 57 Injured; Gunman Soldier Shot Dead
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The soldier who killed 26 people in Thailand has been shot dead by the police, AFP reported, ending the rampage that began on Saturday, 8 February, and continued into the early hours of Sunday.

He was killed at around 2 am GMT (7:30 am IST), Crime Suppression Division Chief Jirabhob Bhuridej told AFP. The health minister and police chief also confirmed the gunman's death. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul posted on his Facebook page on Sunday morning confirming the news, the BBC reported, with him writing: “Thank you police and army for ending the situation. Shooter shot dead!!!”

Thailand prime minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha gave the final victim tally on Sunday, after visiting hospitals. “It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens,” he said, as reported by the Associated Press.

At least 26 people were killed and 57 injured in the mass shooting in the northeastern city of Korat in Thailand, that began on Saturday.


Gunman Updated Social Media Before Shooting Spree

Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Kongcheep Tantrawanich identified the suspect as Sergeant Major Jakrapanth Thomma. He said that police and military units had locked down the mall and the surrounding area.

Thomma posted updates to his Facebook page before and during the rampage, according to the Associated Press. His profile picture shows him dressed in military-style clothes and holding a pistol, with other images of a handgun and bullets on the profile that was made inaccessible after the shooting began.

“No one can escape death,” “should I give up?” are some of the posts he put up before the shooting.

The shooting was allegedly triggered by a financial dispute over land, according to reports, as the angry soldier first killed two people and then went on to kill even more in the shootout at the mall.

City and neighbourhood police officers, who asked to stay anonymous as they were not authorised to release information, told AP that Thomma took the gun from his army base and drove to the mall, shooting on the way.


Rescue Operations Underway

The mall was shut down and the street outside was closed while the authorities tried to arrest the gunman and evacuate the shoppers inside.

“We are worried for those who are still trapped inside. Some still couldn’t come out,” Lieutenant Colonel Poonsap Prasertsak, a senior police commander for the region, said early in the morning on Sunday.

Videos taken outside the mall and shared on social media showed people taking cover in a parking lot as gunshots were fired.

(With inputs from AFP and Associated Press.)

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Topics:  Thailand   Mass Shooting 

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