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4 Oct, 2023 03:40

Teen detained after deadly shooting spree in Bangkok mall

The suspect killed two people and injured five more, Thai officials have said
Teen detained after deadly shooting spree in Bangkok mall

Two people have been killed and several others injured after a teenage boy opened fire at an upscale shopping center in the heart of Thailand’s capital, officials have confirmed. The suspect has been detained.

The shooting spree unfolded on Tuesday afternoon at the Siam Paragon shopping mall, a sprawling commercial complex in downtown Bangkok, with the young attacker brandishing a handgun before firing on at least seven people. The two fatalities are a 34-year-old Chinese woman and another woman from Myanmar, officials said. Five people were injured, two of them critically.

While initial reports claimed that three people were killed, the death toll has since been revised.

A video posted to social media shows panicked shoppers fleeing the scene while gunshots are heard.

Though the shooter has not been identified by the authorities, national police chief Torsak Sukvimol announced that the suspect was a minor, who said that he had “heard voices telling him to shoot people,” according to the Bangkok Post. Multiple media reports stated the assailant is just 14 years old.

The police chief added that it was not yet clear how the teen obtained the handgun used in the rampage, but said an investigation was underway.

The shooting took place on several floors of the mall over a period of 90 minutes, though the suspect ultimately surrendered without a fight. Videos and photos from the scene reportedly show the moment officers detained the suspect, who was seen wearing a black shirt and a baseball cap emblazoned with the US flag.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed condolences to the victims’ families. “I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured,” he said.

The shooting spree comes just days ahead of the first anniversary of Thailand’s deadliest terrorist attack. On October 6, 2022, a former police officer armed with a gun and knife stormed a daycare center and killed at least 36 people. Twenty-four of the victims were preschool-aged children, while the other 12 were adults.