Police in Thailand report that 37 people were killed in a daycare attack, predominantly preschoolers

In the bloodiest rampage in the history of the country, a former policeman stormed a daycare facility in northeastern Thailand on Thursday, killing scores of kids and staff before opening fire as he fled.

After killing his own wife and child at home, the attacker, who officials claim was discharged from the force earlier this year due to a drug conviction, committed himself.

According to a witness, daycare employees shut the entrance when they spotted the attacker coming toward them with a gun, but he managed to shoot his way inside. Pictures and video that were shared online following the incident showed the blood-spattered floor of one room and sleeping mats lying around, as well as panicked family members crying outside the daycare. The walls were decorated with bright pictures of the alphabet and other objects.

According to police spokesman Archayon Kraithong, the incident resulted in the deaths of at least 37 persons. Twelve more people suffered injuries. Most of the victims were preschoolers, with at least 24 being kids.

At the scene, a witness, whose name was withheld, told Thailand’s Kom Chad Luek television, “The teacher who died, she had a child in her arms.” “He shot at the door and shot right through it,” the witness said, “but I didn’t imagine he would murder kids.”

The suspect was identified by authorities as Panya Kamrap, a former police officer, age 34. In an interview with PPTV, Police Maj. Gen. Paisal Luesomboon disclosed that he was dismissed from the force earlier this year as a result of drug-related charges.

According to Paisel, the attacker employed many weapons, including a revolver, a shotgun, and a knife.

The suspect was a sergeant on the force until he was discharged, according to the local police commander Damrongsak Kittiprapha, and his primary weapon was a 9mm pistol that he had bought himself.

We are still looking at everything, and we need to draw conclusions from it, he said. We don’t know all the details yet because today is the first day.

Although the police have not provided a complete breakdown of the fatalities, they have stated that at least 22 children and two adults were killed at the daycare in the town of Nongbua Lamphu in northeastern Thailand.

Thailand has a greater rate of firearm-related fatalities than nations with stricter gun control legislation, including Japan and Singapore, but considerably lower rates than nations like the US and Brazil. In 2019, there were almost 4 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 people, compared to nearly 23 per 100,000 in Brazil and about 11 per 100,000 in the United States.

At Thailand’s Army War College in Bangkok last month, a clerk opened fire on his coworkers, killing two and injuring another before being apprehended.

A dissatisfied soldier who opened fire in and around a mall in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima in 2020, killing 29 people, was the previous biggest mass shooting in the nation. The shooter managed to elude security officers for about 16 hours before being killed by them.

Reporters were informed by Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who was scheduled to visit the town on Friday, that the former officer was reportedly experiencing personal issues.

He said, “This shouldn’t happen. I am incredibly sad for the victims and their loved ones.

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