March 31, 2023

An attacker identified as an ex-police officer according to the police had on Thursday killed 34 people including 22 children in a mass shooting at a daycare centre in eastern Thailand.

The police said the officer shot dead his wife and child at their home before shooting himself after the gun rampage.He was facing trial on a drugs charge and had been in court in the hours before the shooting, police said. Witnesses said the gunman was also seen wielding a knife in the attack in the town of Uthai Sawan, 500 km (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu.The attacker came in around lunch time and shot four or five officials at the childcare centre first , amongst them was a teacher who was eight months pregnant.

District official Jidapa Boonsom, said to be working in a nearby office at the time, explained that 30 children were at the centre when the gunman arrived, fewer than usual, as heavy rain had kept many people away.“At first people thought the shots were fireworks, she said.“It’s really shocking. We were very scared and running to hide once we knew it was shooting. So many children got killed, I’ve never seen anything like it.”Jidapa added that the gunman forced his way into a locked room where children were sleeping.

“He was already stressed and when he couldn’t find his child he was more stressed and started shooting,” Police spokesperson, Paisan Luesomboon said, adding that he had then driven home and killed his wife and child there before taking his own life.

Videos posted on social media showed sheets covering what appeared to be the bodies of children lying in pools of blood.

Marvelous Ogidi

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