Children were slain in a mass shooting and stabbing at a preschool in Thailand.
Thirty-seven people, most of them youngsters, were slain by a former cop at a preschool in the country's northeast.
An unusual pistol and dagger attack at a preschool center in north-east Thailand has left 37 people dead, most of them small children, horrifying the nation.
At around midday on Thursday, the assailant, an ex-police officer, opened fire on the center in the Na Klang district of Nong Bua Lamphu province while kids slept inside, according to police and witnesses.
According to the police, most of the kids who died at the center were stabbed and killed. The perpetrator fired at onlookers as he drove his car away from the daycare before returning home and killing himself, his wife, and his child.
Panya Khamrab, a 34-year-old former police lieutenant colonel who has fired from the service a year ago for possessing methamphetamine, was recognized by authorities as the attacker. Panya Khamrab had previously appeared in court on a narcotics allegation earlier on Thursday.
Witnesses reported that when he entered the nursery, he was upset.
Pictures from the site revealed an infant classroom with alphabet letters and animal artwork all over the walls. Children's bodies were covered with white sheets as they rested on sleeping mats.
Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the prime minister of Thailand, expressed his sincere sympathies to the relatives of the fatalities in a message posted on Facebook. He is scheduled to go to Nong Bua Lamphu on Friday. In urgent need of assistance, he stated, "I instructed the chief of police to quickly attend to the region and all the connected authorities support all those impacted."
According to a teacher who talked with Thai Rath TV, Panya opened fire in the parking lot before heading toward the center. I raced to the rear and we locked the door and jumped out the window, she continued, "begging him to stop but he was reloading the round." According to her, the kids, who ranged in age from two to four, were dozing off at the time.
A second instructor informed the television station that while she was on the phone, there was a huge blast. "At first, I assumed it was a firework, but when I peered out the window, I saw people lying on the ground. She responded, "I watched him load the pistol. She said that she rushed behind a wall for shelter when a fellow instructor who was present attempted to shut the door but was met with gunfire.
24 kids, according to her, were enrolled in the center at the time. It was said that there were fewer kids there than usual because of the severe rains that made some of them stay at home.
A spectator, Paweena Purichan, 31, told reporters that the shooter's drug addiction issues were well-known in the area. She noticed him driving wildly when she was riding her bike to her business.
He intended to collide with other cars on the road, she said to AFP. Two people were hurt when the assailant rammed a motorcycle. I took off quickly to avoid him. Blood was present everywhere.
According to officials, an autopsy's findings will reveal whether he used narcotics before the incident. "Mainly, we assume it's due to the drugs and the stress [of his court appearance]," the police chief said.
Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos make up the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, which is known for being a major center for the production and smuggling of illegal drugs.
Throughout June, the UNODC issued a warning about "excessive levels of methamphetamine" being manufactured, distributed, and consumed in Southeast Asia. The increase in supply, according to the research, caused wholesale and street prices in Thailand to fall to all-time lows in 2021.
Despite the rarity of mass shootings in Thailand, one occurred in 2020 when a soldier angry with his superiors over a real estate deal opened fire at four separate locations, including a well-known mall in the country's northeast, killing at least 29 people and injuring 57 others. The incident, along with other recent stories of gun violence, ignited a discussion about the nation's gun ownership statistics.
Due to lax enforcement, unregistered firearms are still widely available. Possession of an illegal firearm can result in a jail term of up to ten years and/or a fine of up to 20,000 baht (£480).
According to Gunpolicy.org, there were around 10 million privately held weapons in Thailand in 2016. This includes around 4 million illicit and unregistered guns. The weapons used in the incident on Thursday were lawfully purchased.
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