NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand – A soldier from the Thailand armed forces has been shot dead after a 12-hour siege at a shopping mall in the northeast of the country.
The soldier went on a shooting rampage earlier, killing at least twenty-one unarmed citizens, including a police officer. Aside from the huge death toll, 57 was cconfirmed severely injuredd, whilst most of the injured ones are battling with death.
Earlier reports say the soldier also killed his superior officer, and another person after a heated discussion. He then drove to the 7-floor Terminal 21 Shopping Mall where he began gunning down people at will.
The Royal Thai Police launched a manhunt on Saturday night after the mass shooting.
The shooter has been identified as Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma. The attack took place in Nakhon Ratchasima province in northeast Thailand.
Video taken outside the mall showed people diving for cover as shots rang out mid-afternoon Saturday. Many were killed outside the mall, some in cars, others while walking, VOA News reported.
Police worked frantically to locate the gunman, while at the same time attempting to evacuate as many people from the mall as possible.
Defense Ministry spokesman Kongcheep confirmed to the Thai media that the first person killed was the commanding officer of the 22nd Ammunition Battalion, in which the suspected gunman also served. He said the gunman had fired at others at his base and took guns and ammunition before fleeing in an army Humvee.
The gunman reportedly made posts to his Facebook page as he was carrying out his attacks.
“No one can escape death,” said one post. Another asked, “Should I give up?” In a later post, he wrote, “I have stopped already.”