A soldier killed 27 people and injured a dozen more in a gun rampage. The soldier killed his commanding officer before stealing guns from the military camp. He went on to attack a shopping mall in the Thai city of Nakhon Ratchasima. Throughout his attack, he kept updating his social media platforms.
Prayuth Chan-Ocha, Thailand prime minister, said that; the situation is unprecedented in Thailand and that he wants it to be the last time something like that happens. He went on to add that, the soldier’s motive for the attack appeared to be because of a property deal gone wrong.
Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Kongcheep Tantravanich said that; the shooter is Army Sub Lieutenant Jakrapanth Thomma an Ammunition Battalion officer. Jakrapanth served in the 22nd Ammunition Battalion force. He also added that; any military officer would be good with guns, but the man had more skills.
According to Spokesman Tantravanich, a quarrel led to the soldier killing his commanding officer. He also added that among the guns he had stolen, he included at least one machine gun and a military Humvee
Police and military sources said that they had killed the gunman on Sunday after the raid. A police officer said that they rescued a total of eight hostages.
Anutin Charnvirakul, Public Health Minister, confirmed the attacker’s death in a Facebook post where he thanked the police and the army for ending the situation by shooting the gunman.
The gunman posted on his Facebook page that death is inevitable for everyone and that he was out for vengeance. He also added a picture of what appeared to be his hand holding a gun. At one point after he started shooting, he asked on his Facebook page whether he should give up.
In a later post, he wrote that he had stopped. He followed up the post with a video of him saying that, he couldn’t feel his trigger finger anymore. His social media accounts became inaccessible after that.
The soldier Jakrapanth opened fire in a house before moving to an army camp and then later on the mall. A footage circulating the internet showed the soldier getting out of his car and firing a series of shots, from what appeared to be an automatic machine gun.
Thailand has one of the highest gun ownership numbers in the world as citizens can obtain guns legally. However, mass shooting targeting civilians are rare. Several shootings at the courthouse late last year led to renewed concerns about gun violence and gun laws in the country.