Police and security services have revealed that the initial focus of security operations on Saturday night was the evacuation of the public after the shopping centre had been surrounded. At 5 am on Sunday, they changed tactics and elite forces were deployed to hunt the attacker down and kill him.

The Thai justice minister has announced the fast-tracking of compensation for victims Saturday’s hideous killing spree by 32-year-old rogue soldier Sergeant Major Jakapanth Thomma. The death toll from the attack has also been raised to 30 with 58 people injured.

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As police and officials give details of the operation yesterday evening and early this morning where the attacker was killed, an investigation is underway into the attack and in particular the motive of the rogue soldier. On Sunday, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin announced that priority has been given to fast-tracking compensation.

The death toll from the horrific attack by a rogue soldier in Nakhon Ratchasima has now been revised upwards to 30 including the killer with 58 people wounded or injured.

The attack, which on Saturday afternoon and ended just before 9 am on Sunday, has left carnage and massive human suffering in its wake for many families in Nakhon Ratchasima about 250 km from Bangkok.

Justice Minister announces speedy compensation

On Sunday, the Thai Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin announced that compensation to victims and families of victims impacted by the attack would be a priority. An operations centre has been set up in Nakhon Ratchasima at the Justice Building in Korat to handle applications from victims.

Officials are contacting victims and families

The Director of the Provincial Justice Office, Vichien Chaiyason, said he is in the process of contacting victims and relatives of victims to arrange assistance under Thai laws which allows for payments of compensation to victims of criminal acts.

The senior official also announced several telephone hotlines to assist in this effort.

Police investigation now underway

Even though the killer was shot dead by police commandos on Sunday morning on Sunday, police forensic officers were completing their examination of the site as police authorities pursue a criminal investigation into the outrage.

The key question, of course, for the public will be the motive behind the crazed man’s murderous rampage. 

Land dispute theory bolstered by PM’s comments

There have been consistent reports that the trigger for the attack was a land dispute where the killer tangled with a relative and his commanding officer both of whom he murdered earlier in the day on Saturday.

These reports were bolstered by comments of the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha who spoke to the media on Saturday and also confirmed the increase in the death toll and the scale of the injuries.

Briefing on the attack given by the Governor of Nakhon Ratchasima aided by security services

A briefing on the attacks was given to journalists by Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Wichien Chantharanothai who was accompanied by representatives from the security services. He confirmed that the incident began after 3 pm yesterday. 

The attacker, 32-year-old Sergeant Major Jakapanth Thomma, was a trained sniper and marksman. He had stolen military-grade equipment and arms to carry out the attack. The governor explained that police and military authorities were obliged to exercise caution in dealing with the attacker. 

Police prioritised the evacuation of the public

The focus of the operation in its early stages was to remove the public from the Terminal 21 Shopping Centre where the killer was surrounded.

In the course of the briefing, the governor did not elaborate on the killings believed to have occurred at 3.30 pm where the killer murdered his commanding officer Colonel Anantharot Krasae and a 63-year-old woman.  

Gunman attacked other targets en route

The publicised attacks on the Terminal 21 shopping centre began at 6 pm which was then sealed off by authorities approximately one hour later with a cordon surrounding the building.

The soldier is reported to have fired on other targets on his way to launch the high profile assault.

Commandos hunted down the killer after 5 am

According to the briefing today, authorities changed their tactics when they were satisfied that they had removed all members of the public from the building. They then moved to flush the killer out at sometime before 5 am.

This was brought to an end just before 9 am on Sunday morning in the basement of the Shopping Centre near the popular Foodland supermarket. 

A ferocious shootout ensued in which one police officer lost his life to the killer who was taken out by the elite assault team.

King’s bodyguard unit involved in the final assault

Colonel Winthai Suvaree told the media that the soldier had taken an M60 machine gun to carry out the attack and nearly 800 rounds of ammunition. 

The final attack on the rogue soldier was carried out by a commando group that provides security to the Thai King, counterterrorism police and an elite army task force.

Further reading:

32 year old rogue soldier who attacked Shopping Centre in Korat is killed in ferocious 9 am shootout

Crazed Thai soldier kills 20 and takes hostages in Nakhon Ratchasima – broadcast on Facebook

Lopburi child killer is a primary school director who murdered 3 people this month just for kicks

All quiet in Lopburi as fears grow that the gold shop killer may have slipped the police arrest net – media blamed

Mum’s heartbreak after 2 year old’s murder as police now know the identity of the cruel and evil killer

2-year-old shot dead by gold robber Thursday night as 3 die, 4 injured in mass shooting with silencer gun

Party over for 45 year old composed armed robber who took ฿4 million in Bangkok gold shop raid

Police near closing the ฿9 million gold robbery case in Khon Kaen as the last suspect returns

Crazed Thai soldier kills 17, takes hostages in Nakhon Ratchasima

+ Crazed Thai soldier kills 17 and takes hostages in Nakhon Ratchasima – broadcast on Facebook – Army tactical team on the way to deal with the situation.https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news-foreigners/2020/02/08/thai-soldier-attacks-terminal-21-shopping-centre-nakhon-ratchasima-17-dead/James Morris reports from Nakhon Ratchasima Province

Posted by ThaiExaminer.com on Saturday, February 8, 2020