Attacker appeared to be mentally disturbed when apprehended. He repeatedly told police ‘he’s over there’ as he was handcuffed and later interrogated by officers seeking a coherent explanation for the atrocity which has led to calls for a review of security by the PM, Srettha Thavisin who visited the scene.
Thailand’s National Police Chief on Tuesday evening at 7.55 pm confirmed two deaths in the mass shooting perpetrated by a mentally ill 14-year-old including a 34-year-old Chinese woman, a tourist to Thailand and a national from Myanmar. The news comes with persistent reports of a third fatality but with relief among police and security experts that regular drills and training at the popular Siam Paragon Shopping Centre in the capital and an effective response from local police officers, probably saved lives. Police are probing the mental health disorder suffered by the 14-year-old suspect who was taken to Pathum Wan Police Station and who appeared to believe he was being stalked.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and the National Police Chief General Torsak Sukwimol both were at the scene at the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre on Tuesday evening in the aftermath of a mass shooting carried out by a 14-year-old gunman who has not yet been named, but who police say suffers from mental illness and has been treated psychiatrically at the Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok.
Officers were suggesting on Tuesday evening that the 14-year-old’s treatment for a serious mental health disorder had been allowed to lapse and are looking at this as one of the causes of the atrocity.
Officers taken aback by range of gun ammunition and paraphernalia found in the 14-year-old’s bedroom in Bangkok, gun was a reengineered prop
On Tuesday evening, forensic officers working on the case visited the home of the 14-year-old where they found an assortment of ammunition and shooting paraphernalia in the young man’s bedroom.
It is understood that the array of ammunition and material found there shocked officers who came to carry out the inspection.
Police have revealed the sophisticated 9mm Glock handgun was a prop gun used for film productions which had been engineered to fire live ammunition by people unknown.
There are persistent reports from the scene at the shopping centre from Tuesday suggesting that, at one point, police had identified three bodies as a result of the attack.
It is understood that reporters at the scene were told by officers working with the police from the 6th precinct that the number of dead confirmed from the scene was already at three in the immediate aftermath of the attack commencing on Tuesday at around 5 pm.
Police chief reveals two are dead, five injured
The second fatality now confirmed has not yet been named but is understood to be a national from Myanmar who died after being taken to Police General Hospital along with five others who were injured by the gunman.
In a briefing given to reporters at 7:55 pm, General Torsak, the police chief, told the press posse that two people had been killed in the shooting with five injured.
The police chief confirmed the search of the gunman’s home in the city as officers rushed to understand the motives behind the shooting.
The police chief expressed gratitude to the security personnel at the Siam Paragon Centre along with the police officers from Police Precinct 6 in Bangkok, in particular officers from Pathum Wan Police Station who managed to bring the situation under control within 50 minutes on Tuesday and probably saved lives.
Tactics introduced after the 2020 disaster in Nakhon Ratchasima to ‘Run, Hide and Fight’ paid off on Tuesday as police locked down the centre quickly
General Torsak particularly reminded the public of the training which has been introduced to security services at shopping centres in the aftermath of the Nakhon Ratchasima Terminal 21 Shopping Centre attack in 2020 which is to advise the public caught up in such situations to ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ as a response when dealing with a gunman on the loose in a public area.
Crazed Thai soldier kills 20 and takes hostages in Nakhon Ratchasima – horror scenes broadcast on Facebook
General Torsak pointed out that the Paragon Shopping Centre had conducted training every three months to prepare for such an attack and the response to Tuesday’s incident, in which the public was evacuated and the area cordoned off so that the attacker could be tackled, appears to have paid off.
The police chief noted that officers responded to the incident within five minutes and quickly adopted a tactical response.
Confusion among the media with initial reports confirming three bodies at the scene after the attack commenced with seven shot in total
Police Lieutenant General Thiti Saengsawang of the Metropolitan Police Bureau told reporters that the mental illness of the attacker was being probed by the police as part of the investigation.
Reporters are currently following up on the status of all those who were removed to hospital with it being reported that six people in total were sent for treatment from the Siam Paragon Shopping Centre with four being sent to Chulalongkorn Hospital and two being sent to Police General Hospital with one of those, the victim from Myanmar, later succumbing.
Reports from the shopping centre suggested that the accused teenager thought he was being pursued by another person and acted as if he was terrified, repeatedly telling officers ‘he’s over there’ while investigators tried to calm him down to get some sort of coherent explanation from him as to what happened.