A Thai soldier reportedly killed his commanding officer, then stole an army vehicle and posted live video on Facebook as he went on a shooting spree toward a mall in the northern Thailand city of Nakhon Ratchasima (also known as Korat).
As the Daily Mail reports,
As he drove towards the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Korat, a city 155 miles northeast of Bangkok, Thomma opened fire, spraying bullets at civilians along the road.
Reports say the sergeant major also fired on a Buddhist temple en route.
A Thai soldier shot militia and other military personnels in Nakhon Ratchasima, northeastern province of Thailand🇹🇭. He recently drove into shopping mall and started shooting other people randomly. At least 9 – 12 dead, dozen injured.
Now he is on the run. https://t.co/nuEIAtAtWT
— the Nuncius (@theNuncius) February 8, 2020
According to the Associated Press . . .
Video taken outside the mall and shared on social media showed people taking cover in a parking lot as gunshots were fired.
The mall was shut down and the street outside was closed while the authorities tried to arrest the gunman and rescue shoppers inside.
Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanich identified the suspect as Jakrapanth Thomma. He said police and military units had locked down the mall and the surrounding area.
The shooter had initially gone to a house in the city and shot two people dead, before going to the weapons store on an army base and taking a new gun, local police said.
He also shot at people on the army base, they added.
Police advised citizens to stay indoors.
The man who was identified by police as the suspect had posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day that “Death is inevitable for everyone.”
The soldier is reportedly hiding in the shopping mall.
#BREAKING Thailand: Soldier goes on shooting spree killing and injuring several people in Korat #กราดยิงโคราช #กราดยิงทั่วเมืองโคราช #savekorat https://t.co/2wq67DeqvWhttps://t.co/wagZ2PVZiS pic.twitter.com/LPg7LCbRaA
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) February 8, 2020
Again from the AP:
Gun violence is not unheard of in Thailand. Firearms can be obtained legally, and many Thais own guns. Mass shootings are rare, though there are occasional gun battles in the far south of the country, where authorities have for years battled a long-running separatist insurgency.
The incident came just a month after another high-profile mall shooting, in the central Thai city of Lopburi. In that case, a masked gunman carrying a handgun with a silencer killed three people, including a 2-year-old boy, and wounded four others as he robbed a jewelry store. A suspect, a school director, was arrested less than two weeks later and reportedly confessed, saying he did not mean to shoot anyone.
As always, reported details in these situations aren’t always reliable and change over time.
— Global Intelligence Solutions Ltd (UK) (@GIS_Breaking) February 8, 2020