The massacre at a child care center in northern Thailand, which is thought to be the nation’s deadliest incident of its kind, left at least 36 people dead, at least 24 of them children, and Thailand reeled in horror on Thursday.
The alleged assailant was quickly sought after by police, who eventually identified him as Panya Kamrab, a 34-year-old ex-police officer, according to Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB). He was put on administrative leave earlier this year due to allegations of drug possession, according to Thai Royal Police.
Among the many fatalities are Panya’s wife and stepson, whom he allegedly killed before killing himself, according to investigators.
Despite being registered at the daycare center he attacked on Thursday, his 2-year-old stepson wasn’t there when it happened, according to the chief of the local police department.
“(Panya) searched around for his toddler, but the kid wasn’t there… Maj, a police spokesperson, claimed that the gunman started stabbing and shooting individuals in the daycare.
All but one of the 24 children were already dead when Panya “managed to creep inside a room where 24 youngsters were sleeping together.”He also used a knife to stab both children and center staff, Paisan continued.
Two other staff members were having lunch when the attacker entered the centre around midday, according to one of the center’s teachers, who recounted a horrifying scene to the local media.
“I heard a sound that I immediately associated with fireworks. So when I turned around, the two staffs had simply fallen on the ground, the teacher said.
“Then, from his waist, he drew another rifle…
I didn’t think he would also murder the children, they claimed.
The victimised teacher allegedly reportedly had a second gun and a knife in his possession, which he used to fatally stab another instructor who was eight months pregnant.
According to a witness who spoke to Reuters, the attacker appeared to be on his way to pick up his child. She claimed that when he got to the facility, he “didn’t say anything” and “shot at the door while the kids were asleep.”
According to Paisan, the majority of the fatalities were caused by “stabbing wounds.”
Reuters was also informed by a teacher that the attacker had mostly used a knife.
“Everything happened really quickly. Instead of using the rifle, he continued slicing in there with the knife. All done with a knife, she declared.
General of Police Damrongsak
Damrongsak recalled that after that, “he got out and started killing anybody he saw along the route with a gun or the knife until he came home.” “We surrounded the house and discovered he had committed suicide there,” someone said.
According to a statement from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, the tragedy occurred at the Child Development Center in the Uthaisawan Na Klang district of Nong Bua Lamphu province. He called the incident “terrible” and offered his condolences to the victims’ families.
The province is not well renowned for violence and is situated about 540 kilometres (about 335 miles) northeast of Bangkok.
According to a statement from his office, Prayut will visit the province on Friday to speak with the victims’ families. No youngster ought to be the target.
On October 7, Panya’s ongoing case involving the alleged possession of methamphetamine was expected to conclude, according to Thai Royal Police.
Police also claimed that during an earlier, undated search of his home, they discovered a tablet of Yaba there. Methamphetamine and caffeine are combined to create yaba, a tablet that is typically crushed and smoked in the area and is referred to as “crazy medication.”
His suspension from the police force in January was due to accusations of carrying the “Category 1” narcotic. In comparison to other Southeast Asian nations, Thailand has a comparatively high gun ownership rate.
According to 2017 statistics from the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey, more than 10.3 million civilians in Thailand held firearms, or roughly 15 firearms per 100 individuals (SAS). SAS estimates that 6.2 million of the firearms are registered legally.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s 2019 Global Burden of Disease database places Thailand as the Southeast Asian nation with the second-highest rate of gun homicides behind the Philippines.
In a statement, UNICEF expressed its “horror” at the incident and sympathies to the families involved.
According to the declaration, “all childhood learning places must be safe. No kid should ever be the victim of or witness to violence.”for young children to study, play, and grow during their most vital years.”
In a tweet, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss expressed her horror at the “horrific events” and stated that her “thoughts are with all those affected and the first responders.”
The UK is supporting the Thai people during this dreadful time, she said.