Soldier kills 29 people in Thailand shooting spree
Affected Countries: thailand;
A soldier suspected of killing at least 29 people during a shooting rampage in northeastern Thailand was shot and killed Sunday, Thai officials said.
The alleged gunman, Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma, shot and killed a soldier and a woman at a military barracks in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima before turning his attention to a nearby mall, said police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen.
After visiting victims in hospitals in the city, Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha told reporters that the “a personal conflict over a house deal,” had sparked the shooting, according to Reuters press.
“He had an issue with money and fought for three days. Nobody expected it to turn violent,” he said.
He added: “I hope this is the only one and the last incident, and that it never happens again. No one wants this to happen. It could be because of this person’s mental health in this particular moment.”
Thomma escaped in a military Humvee and opened fire at a number of different locations throughout the city, police said. He then holed up in a shopping mall for more than 10 hours after the attack began, police in Thailand told NBC News.
Lt. Gen Piya Uthayo, Thailand’s assistant national police chief, said that out of the 29 victims identified so far, 23 were civilians, three were army officers and another three were police officers.
He added that 27 people who were injured in the rampage remain in hospitals.
As the standoff moved into early Sunday morning local time, bursts of automatic gunfire were heard from inside the shopping mall when Thai security forces suddenly rushed in to free hundreds of people who had been trapped inside.
Source: NBC News