Thailand shooting spree: What we know about the gunman & how events unfolded
- The heavily armed gunman started his shooting spree around 3pm local time (08:00 GMT) on Saturday at a Buddhist temple and then a busy shopping center, Terminal 21, in Korat, northeastern Thailand. He opened fire indiscriminately at visitors, killing and injuring dozens.
- During his rampage, the suspect took several hostages, which resulted in a 17-hour-long standoff with security forces, before he was shot and killed.
Thai armoury: the gunman, who is still at large & possibly holed up inside shopping mall after killing nearly 2 dozens of civilians & some authorities, has stolen3 x HK33 rifles plus 736 bullets2 x M60 automatic machine guns with 2 100-rounds belts& a Humvee #กราดยิงโคราชpic.twitter.com/M6sFuQ8nGk— ShareKao แชร์ข่าว (@toom_b) February 8, 2020
The suspect was identified as junior army officer Jakraphanth Thomma – a sniper and shooting instructor in his unit, who had completed a special forces program. Just prior to the carnage, he killed his commander and two fellow soldiers, before stealing weapons, ammunition and a Humvee from his military base.
- In a shootout with SWAT teams at the shopping mall’s parking lot during a failed anti-terrorism raid on Sunday night, the gunman killed one special forces serviceman and injured two others.
- As local media reported that all civilians have been evacuated from the mall and surrounding areas, the Thai health minister expressed concern that there could still be civilians inside, including injured people. Videos shared on social media showed chaos and panic as people fled the scene.
- During the rampage, the suspect reportedly posted updates on his Facebook page, such as “No one can escape death,” and “Should I give up?” Facebook deleted the suspect’s account, denying reports that the murder spree had been livestreamed on their platform.
- Thomma carried out the deadly attack because he felt cheated over a land deal, according to Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
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