BANGKOK—A erstwhile policeman killed 34 radical including 22 children successful a weapon rampage astatine a daycare halfway successful eastbound Thailand connected Thursday, aboriginal shooting dormant his woman and kid astatine their location earlier turning his limb connected himself, constabulary said.
Police identified the attacker arsenic a erstwhile subordinate of the unit who was dismissed from his station past twelvemonth implicit cause allegations. He was facing proceedings connected a drugs complaint and had been successful tribunal successful the hours earlier the shooting, constabulary said.
District constabulary authoritative Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya cited witnesses arsenic saying the gunman was besides seen wielding a weapon successful the onslaught successful the municipality of Uthai Sawan, 500 km (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok successful the Province of Nong Bua Lamphu.
About 30 children were astatine the halfway erstwhile the gunman arrived, less than usual, arsenic dense rainfall had kept galore radical away, territory authoritative Jidapa Boonsom, who was moving successful a adjacent bureau astatine the time, told Reuters.
“The shooter came successful astir luncheon clip and changeable 4 oregon 5 officials astatine the childcare centre first,” said Jidapa, adding that among them was a teacher who was 8 months pregnant.
At archetypal radical thought the shots were fireworks, she said.
“It’s truly shocking. We were precise frightened and moving to fell erstwhile we knew it was shooting. So galore children got killed, I’ve ne'er seen thing similar it.”
The gunman forced his mode into a locked country wherever children were sleeping, Jidapa said. She said she thought helium killed children determination with a knife.
Videos posted connected societal media showed sheets covering what appeared to beryllium the bodies of children lying successful pools of blood.
Reuters could not instantly authenticate the footage.
Police spokesperson Paisan Luesomboon told broadcaster ThaiPBS the gunman had been astatine a tribunal proceeding successful transportation with a cause lawsuit earlier connected Thursday and had gone to the daycare halfway to find his child, but the kid was not there.
“He was already stressed and erstwhile helium couldn’t find his kid helium was much stressed and started shooting,” Paisan said, adding that helium had past driven location and killed his woman and kid determination earlier taking his ain life.
Gun laws are strict successful Thailand, wherever possession of an amerciable firearm carries a situation condemnation of up to 10 years, but ownership is precocious compared with immoderate different countries successful the region.
Illegal weapons, galore brought successful from strife-torn neighboring countries, are common.
However, wide shootings are rare. In 2020, a worker aggravated implicit a spot woody gone sour killed astatine slightest 29 radical and wounded 57 successful a rampage that spanned 4 locations.