Thai soldier kills at least 21 in shooting rampage: reports

Thai soldier kills at least 21 in shooting rampage: reports
© Thai Royal Police's Crime Suppression Division's Twitter

Thai officials confirmed that a soldier who killed at least 21 people on Saturday and injured as many as 31 others has been shot dead inside.

The suspect, Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma, initially fatally shot another soldier and a woman and wounded a third person at a military barracks in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, according to an NBC report.

Thomma escaped the initial scene in a Humvee military vehicle and opened fire at different locations across the city before positioning himself inside the mall.

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Around 8:30 p.m. local time, there were reports of special forces preparing to “engage” the shooter inside the shopping center, and shortly before midnight, police announced they had secured the entire mall, according to The Associated Press.

Sixteen hours later at a news conference outside the mall, officials confirmed that the gunman was fatally shot, according to the AP. 

It was initially reported that Thomma had taken hostages inside the mall, but Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said there are no more bodies left inside the mall.

However, "we don't know whether there are any additional injuries or deaths or not," he told the AP.

Police said the shooting might have erupted over a land dispute, and they have issued a warning featuring Thomma's mugshot.

Thomma streamed his earlier activity on Facebook Live and posted a selfie of him holding a rifle.

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“Tired, I can barely move my fingers,” he said in a video posted at 7:20 p.m., according to the Bangkok Post. He also posted updates to his Facebook page during the rampage, with statements including "No one can escape death" and "Should I give up?" In a later post, he wrote, “I have stopped already," USA Today reported.

Facebook eventually removed his account.

"There is no place on Facebook for people who commit this kind of atrocity, nor do we allow people to praise or support this attack," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

Thomma is an ammunition battalion officer working for the 22nd Ammunition Battalion, according to CNN.

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Updated: 11 a.m., 1:16 p.m.; 5:09 p.m.

Lisa Conley contributed.