Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

Thailand Shooting Spree Leaves 26 Dead, 57 Wounded, Officials Say; Suspect Is Fatally Shot

Thailand Shooting Spree Leaves 26 Dead, 57 Wounded, Officials Say; Suspect Is Fatally Shot

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Thailand — A soldier with a grudge gunned down 26 people and wounded 57 in Thailand's worst shooting spree before he was fatally shot inside a mall in the country's northeast on Sunday, officials said.
Officials said the soldier was angry over a financial dispute, first killing two people on a military base and then went on a far bloodier rampage Saturday, shooting as he drove to the mall where shoppers fled in terror.
It took police sharpshooters 16 hours to end the crisis.
Authorities said Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma was behind the attack in Nakhon Ratchasima, a hub for Thailand’s relatively poorer and rural northeastern region. Much of the shooting took place at Terminal 21 Korat, an airport-themed mall filled with colorful Lego sculptures, a merry-go-round and huge replicas of landmarks from around the world.
“This incident was unprecedented in Thailand,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters as he gave the final tally Sunday morning after visiting the wounded in hospitals.
"I hope this is the only one and the last incident, and that it never happens again. No one wants this to happen. It could be because of this person's mental health in this particular moment,” he said.
Prayuth said he was worried that people inside the mall could be accidentally hit by bullets fired by police, but added, "I have checked, that didn’t happen.”
In Bangkok, the original Terminal 21 in the bustling heart of the city was filled with shoppers as usual Sunday morning. There were no signs of increased security or commemoration of the tragedy that unfolded a few hours’ drive away.
Gun violence is not unheard of in Thailand. Firearms can be obtained legally, and many Thais own guns. Mass shootings are rare, though there are occasional gun battles in the far south of the country, where authorities have for years battled a long-running separatist insurgency.
The incident in Korat comes just a month after another high-profile mall shooting, in the central Thai city of Lopburi. In that case, a masked gunman carrying a handgun with a silencer killed three people, including a 2-year-old boy, and wounded four others as he robbed a jewelry store. A suspect, a school director, was arrested less than two weeks later and reportedly confessed, saying he did not mean to shoot anyone. (Fox News)