Gunman kills himself, wife and child during massacre at children’s day-care centre
Thirty-eight people were killed in Thailand on Thursday in a gun and knife attack at a daycare centre by a former policeman who killed his wife and child before turning his weapon on himself, police said.
There were 22 children among the victims of the suspected attacker, who had been discharged from the police service last year for drug-related reasons, district police official Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya told media. He cited witnesses as saying the gunman was also seen wielding a knife.
The gunman then forced his way into a locked room where children were sleeping, Jidapa said, to kill children there with a knife.
Videos posted on social media showed sheets covering what appeared to be the bodies of children lying in pools of blood at the centre in the town of Uthai Sawan, 500 km (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu. Reuters could not immediately authenticate the footage.
Earlier, police said a manhunt was under way for the gunman, and a government spokesman said the prime minister had alerted all agencies to catch the culprit.
Mass shootings are rare in Thailand, even though the rate of gun ownership is high compared with some other countries in the region, and illegal weapons are common.
In 2020, a soldier angry over a property deal gone sour killed at least 29 people and wounded 57 in a rampage that spanned four locations. — Reuters