Two people were tragically killed and several others injured in a shooting incident that occurred at the Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. The incident, which took place on Tuesday afternoon, saw a teenage boy open fire on shoppers before being detained by authorities.
The upscale shopping center, located in downtown Bangkok, was filled with panic as the young attacker brandished a handgun and shot at least seven people. Officials later confirmed that the victims included a 34-year-old Chinese woman and a woman from Myanmar. Five others were injured, two of whom are in critical condition.
Initial reports had suggested that three people were killed, but the death toll was later revised. Videos posted on social media captured the horrifying scene as shoppers fled in panic amidst the sound of gunshots.
The authorities have not released the identity of the shooter, but the national police chief, Torsak Sukvimol, revealed that the suspect was a minor. The teenager reportedly claimed to have heard voices instructing him to shoot people. It has been reported by several media outlets that the assailant is just 14 years old.
The police chief admitted that it remains unclear how the teenager obtained the handgun used in the shooting, but investigations are underway to determine its source. The incident unfolded over a period of 90 minutes on several floors of the shopping mall, with the suspect eventually surrendering peacefully. Images and videos from the scene show the moment when law enforcement officers took the suspect into custody. He was seen wearing a black shirt and a baseball cap adorned with the US flag.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims, stating, “I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured.”
It is important to note that this tragic shooting incident comes just days before the first anniversary of Thailand’s deadliest terrorist attack. On October 6, 2022, a former police officer armed with a gun and knife stormed a daycare center, resulting in the death of at least 36 people, including 24 preschool-aged children and 12 adults.
The Thai authorities are now faced with the task of investigating this shooting spree and determining how such a young individual gained access to a firearm. As the victims’ families mourn their loss and the injured begin their journey to recovery, the incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenge to ensure public safety and address the root causes that lead to such acts of violence.