Thai soldier kills at least 10 in shooting rampage
At least 10 people have been killed and many others injured in a mass shooting carried out by a Thai soldier who remains at large in the north-eastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima.
According to a police report, The attack began late in the afternoon at an army barracks.
The soldier, who livestreamed the shooting on social media, opened fire at different locations in the city, more than 155 miles (250km) from Bangkok.
Three people were killed — among them at least one soldier — when Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma opened fire.
“He stole an army vehicle and drove into the town centre,” police Lieutenant-Colonel Mongkol Kuptasiri.
Local media reported the gunman seized weapons from the army arsenal before embarking on a shooting spree in the centre of the town.
The shooter remained close to a shopping mall and had not yet been apprehended, the police said.
“We don’t know why he did this. It appears he went mad,” said defence ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit.
Local media showed footage of the soldier getting out of a car in front of a shopping mall and firing a series of shots, sending people running. Gunshots could be heard on the video.
One video from a bystander showed a man slumped at the wheel of a car in a pool of blood. It was unclear if he was among the dead.
The Terminal 21 mall was sealed off by police, who said the gunman remained close to the shopping centre and had not yet been apprehended. Members of the public in Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat, had been urged to remain at home.
Thailand has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, but such attacks are rare in the country, other than in the far south, where a decades-old insurgency persists.
The man police identified as the suspect had posted on his Facebook page earlier in the day that: “Death is inevitable for everyone”.