At least 24 children were among those murdered in a preschool shooting and knife attack in Thailand on Thursday.
Local police identified the gunman as 34-year-old former police officer Panya Kamrab, who had been dismissed from his position as a police lieutenant colonel in 2021 for drug use. He killed his family, children and workers at the preschool daycare center in Utthai Sawan, before committing suicide, according to the BBC. A teacher who survived the attack said the suspect would drop his children off at the school and had seemed like a polite man.
The officer shot and stabbed his victims before fleeing the scene, leading to a manhunt that resulted in his suicide.
Gunman in Thailand nursery attack has killed himself, local media reports
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“The shooter came in around lunchtime and shot four or five officials at the childcare center first,” a local official said, according to the BBC. One of the teachers killed was eight months pregnant at the time. Eyewitnesses also claimed that Kamrab drove into bystanders, injuring several people as he tried to make his escape. Kamrab’s motives are still unclear. (RELATED: Nightclub Fire In Thailand Kills At Least 13, Injures 35)
Among those dead are 24 children and 11 adults, according to NPR. Some of the victims were as young as two, and were attacked while they slept, the outlet reported. Survivors have been transported to Nong Bau Lamphu District Hospital.
Despite a high rate of gun ownership, mass shootings are rare in Thailand, according to Reuters. The rate of firearm deaths in 2019 was roughly 4 per 100,000, NPR noted.