36 Children Killed in Child Care Center Massacre in Thailand: On Thursday, a gunman opened fire on a childcare center in Thailand’s northeast, killing at least 24 children and another 36 grownups.
The Central Investigation Bureau of Thailand (CIB) later identified the suspect as 34-year-old ex-policeman Panya Kamrab, who was already the subject of an ongoing court case for alleged narcotics sales, prompting an immediate manhunt.
After his wife and stepson were murdered, he took his own life, according to investigators. There are no known victims among the attacker’s family. According to Maj. Gen. Jirapob Puridet of the CIB, “opening fire while the kids were sleeping” occurred hours after the suspect had been in court in Nong Bua Lamphu province.
According to Puridet’s interview with CNN from last year, the ex-officer was fired after being “charged with distributing narcotics.” Authorities said his 2-year-old stepson attended the center he attacked on Thursday but was not there at the time of the violence.
The shooter “went looking for his two-year-old kid, but the boy was not there… So he started shooting and stabbing individuals at the nursery,” Major General Paisan Luesomboon, a police spokesman, told CNN.
The next morning, Kamran “managed to get into a room where 24 youngsters were sleeping together” and slaughtered all but one of them. According to Luesomboon, “he also used a knife to attack both children and workers at the center.”
One of the teachers at the center spoke to the local media about the awful events that transpired there, saying that the attacker had entered the building at lunchtime when two other employees were eating their lunch.
I thought I heard what sounded like firecrackers then all of a sudden. When the instructor turned around, she saw the two staff lying on the ground. Another teacher, who was eight months pregnant, was fatally stabbed by the perpetrator, who had two guns and a knife, according to the witness.
In his interview with CNN, Luesomboon said that “stabbing wounds” accounted for the vast majority of the fatalities. Earlier on Thursday, a statement released by the office of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha described the incident as a mass shooting.
The Prime Minister released a statement offering his sympathies to the victims’ families and confirming that the atrocity took place at the Child Development Center in the Uthaisawan Na Klang district of Nong Bua Lamphu province. The province is about 540 kilometers (335 miles) northeast of Bangkok and is a relatively tranquil and lovely place to live.
More than 10.3 million firearms were in private hands in Thailand in 2017, according to the Small Arms Survey out of Switzerland. That works out to almost 15 firearms for every 100 persons (SAS). According to SAS, roughly 6.2 million of those firearms have valid registrations.
According to the 2019 Global Burden of Disease database created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Thailand has the second-highest rate of gun homicides in Southeast Asia, behind only the Philippines.
Although mass shootings are uncommon in the country, in 2020, a soldier killed 29 people in a shooting rampage that began at a military facility and ended when the gunman invaded a shopping mall.
Mass #shooting at a #childcare centre in #Thailand’s northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu. Initial reports indicate 38 people killed, mostly children.
Police have named a suspect, a 34-year Ex police officer.
He’s still on the run. #กราดยิง #กราดยิงหนองบัวลำภู pic.twitter.com/dfsfqebTUk
— Chaudhary Parvez (@ChaudharyParvez) October 6, 2022
UNICEF released a statement expressing its “horror” and condolences to the families of the victims. It denounced the incident and said, “No kid should be the target or witness of violence anywhere, at any time,” and that “Early childhood development centers, schools, and all learning spaces must be safe havens for young children to learn, play, and grow during their most vital years.”
British Prime Minister Liz Truss expressed her astonishment at the “horrific events” and her support for the victims and first responders in a tweet.