Bangkok: A former police officer shot dead at least 35 people, most of them children, when he stormed a nursery in Thailand on Thursday in one of the kingdom’s deadliest mass killings.
Following the attack, gunman Panya Khamrab went home and killed his wife and child before taking his own life, police said.
Armed with a shotgun, pistol and knife, Khamrab opened fire on the childcare centre in northeastern Nong Bua Lam Phu province at about 12:30 pm (0530 GMT).
Police Colonel Jakkapat Vijitraithaya from the province where the attack happened told AFP that the gunman killed 35 people, including 23 children, and wounded 12 others.
The 34-year-old former police lieutenant colonel had been dismissed from the force last year for drug use, Vijitraithaya added. Eyewitness Paweena Purichan, 31, was riding her motorcycle to her shop when she encountered the fleeing Panya driving erratically.
“He intended to crash into others on the road,” she told AFP. “The attacker rammed a motorbike and two people were injured. I sped off to get away from him.” “There was blood everywhere.” Paweena said the attacker was well known in the area as a drug addict.
Video footage after the incident showed distraught parents weeping in a shelter outside the nursery, a yellow-walled single-storey building set in a garden.