- Siam Paragon Thailand’s most famous mall
- Police identify dead as Chinese, Myanmar citizens
- Suspect had been receiving psychiatric treatment – police
- Mall says it evacuated customers, staff safely
BANGKOK (AP) — Tuesday afternoon, a teenage kid with a handgun opened fire inside a significant mall in the heart of Thailand’s capital, killing two people before being caught, according to authorities.
Less than an hour after the first reported gunfire at Bangkok’s largest and most opulent shopping mall, the Siam Paragon Mall, police claimed they had taken custody of a suspect.
A long-haired teenage guy was captured on camera while in police detention in a video that was posted to social media and carried on television. Although recently appointed police chief Torsak Sukvimol only verified that he is a minor and that he has a history of receiving treatment for mental illness, major Thai media outlets reported that he was 14 years old. He claimed that authorities had not yet discovered how the suspect got his gun.
According to Torsak, two people—a Chinese tourist and a citizen of Myanmar—were killed, while five others were injured. Director of Bangkok’s Erawan Emergency Medical Center Yutthana Sretthanan had earlier reported three fatalities and six injuries. Although Yutthana later backed up the police data, there was no explanation for the disparity.
Reporters were informed that the situation was under control inside the mall, which features a cinema, an aquarium, and the connected five-star Siam Kempinski Hotel in addition to selling high-end clothing and luxury vehicles.
The police informed the prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, that one of the dead was an approximately 30-year-old Chinese tourist.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased following the shooting inside Siam Paragon,” Srettha, who took office in August, said in an earlier statement. “I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured.”
Although major shootings are unusual in Thailand, gun violence is widespread there.
The tragedy took place just days before Thais planned to commemorate the anniversary of the nation’s largest single-person mass murder, a gruesome gun and knife attack on a rural daycare center in a northern region on October 6, 2022, which left 36 people dead, most of them preschoolers.
Following the incident on Tuesday, authorities temporarily blocked access to the elevated rail stop near Siam Square, preventing people from leaving as evening rush hour began and heavy rain lashed the city. As sirens blared outside, first responders could be seen entering the mall.
According to witnesses, large numbers of people scurried out of the building, which is one of many shopping centers in the area that are well-liked by both visitors and wealthy Thais.
Liu Shiying, a tourist from China, said to the AP that she witnessed people fleeing after hearing gunfire. She reported hearing gunshots, an alarm going off, and the mall’s lights going out.
“We’re hiding right now. Who has the guts to leave? She said as she ducked for safety. Later, she was allowed to go.
Indian national Gautam Vora, 45, was at the mall with his wife and child. He works in finance in Bangkok. Although at first he wasn’t sure if he had heard gunshots or “someone playing a hoax with some firecrackers,” he claimed it was “quite scary.”
He claimed, “Everyone was yelling and running.” “There was a lot of chaos, and that was almost like a stampede.”
“I don’t think they were well prepared for this,” he continued. “I believe that the majority of the mall staff were also bewildered and running around erratically.”
numerous videos posted to social media showed individuals fleeing the structure, while numerous more showed a person inside the mall clutching a firearm while wearing a baseball cap, dark shirt, and camouflage pants. After being apprehended, a long-haired boy with glasses was seen wearing that outfit and sporting an American flag on his cap in a video that was thought to be of the shooter. The pistol he was alleged to have been holding before being disarmed was also visible in videos and pictures.
In the year 2020, a disgruntled soldier attacked a mall in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima in the northeast, killing 29 people while fending off security personnel for around 16 hours until being killed by them.
Thailand has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in Asia despite having relatively rigorous gun laws, according to GunPolicy.org, a study from the Australian University of Sydney.
When illegally acquired firearms are taken into account, there are around 10 guns per 100 individuals in Thailand, compared to fewer than one per 100 in Malaysia, Thailand’s tranquil Southeast Asian neighbor. In Thailand, there are jail terms of 1 to 10 years and penalties of up to 20,000 baht ($539) for illegal possession.
Gun registration in Thailand is criticized as not being rigorous enough.
The simple procedure for issuing gun permits is to blame for Thailand’s startlingly high rate of gun ownership. After the shootings at the daycare center last year, Boonwara Sumano, a senior research fellow at the Thailand Development Research Institute, said that applying for and obtaining a firearms licence in Thailand was simple.
Thailand shooting: teenage suspect arrested after two killed at luxury mall
Reuters, Oct. 3, Bangkok – The latest high-profile shooting to rattle the nation in recent years occurred on Tuesday at a posh Bangkok mall, and Thai police have detained a young gunman suspected of killing two foreigners and injuring five more.
After gunfire went out at the Siam Paragon mall, a significant retail and entertainment destination popular with tourists in Bangkok’s busy commercial center, hundreds of people, including children, were seen screaming and running into the streets.
According to the police, two women from China and Myanmar were slain, and five others were injured.
The alleged gunman, who is 14 years old and has been receiving psychiatric treatment, skipped his prescribed medication on the day of the event, according to national police commander Torsak Sukvimol.
Torsak informed the media, “We have spoken to his parents.
“The suspect claimed that he had received orders to kill others,”
Security guards led fleeing customers away from the mall and onto a busy road as it began to pour with rain. Verified social media video depicted people running out of a ground-floor grocery while screaming as a gunshot can be heard.
“It took place in a matter of minutes. Shir Yahav, an Israeli citizen of 26 years old, was at a designer store when the shooting occurred. “We saw all the people run, run, run, and we didn’t understand what was happening,” he said.
Watch Siam Paragon Shooting Video
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