BANGKOK– At least 24 children and 11 adults were killed Thursday in an attack that started at a daycare center in northeast Thailand, authorities said.
The gunman then fled the scene and fired from his car as he drove home, where he killed his wife and child before taking his own life, police said.
The first attack happened around 12:30 p.m. when the man, identified as a former police officer, entered the daycare center in the city of Nongbua Lamphu, authorities said.
According to police, nineteen boys, three girls and two adults were killed inside the building before the attacker fled.
Photos and video of the scene posted online showed sleeping mats scattered in a preschool room, the floor smeared with blood, with pictures of letters and other colorful wall decorations.
Videos carried the sound of wailing as distraught family members cried and looked on outside the kindergarten building. Ambulances stood by while police and medical personnel entered the schoolyard.
According to Thai media reports, the shooter also used knives in the attack.
After the suspect fled, he continued to fire from his car, hitting several people, Police Major Paisal Luesomboon told The Associated Press.
After arriving home, he killed his wife and child before killing himself, according to the Daily News newspaper.
Police said a total of two children and ten adults died outside the daycare, including the suspect, his wife and son.
Firearm-related deaths in Thailand are much lower than countries like the United States and Brazil, but higher than countries like Japan and Singapore, which have strict gun control laws. The firearm-related death rate was about 4 per 100,000 in 2019, compared to about 11 per 100,000 in the US and almost 23 per 100,000 in Brazil.
Last month, a staffer at Thailand’s Army War College in Bangkok shot dead, killing two and wounding another, before being arrested.
The country’s worst mass shooting to date involved a disgruntled soldier who opened fire in and around a mall in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima in 2020, killing 29 people and delaying security forces for about 16 hours before he was finally killed by them.
Associated Press writers David Rising, Chalida Ekvitthayavechnukul, Elaine Kurtenbach, and Grant Peck contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
https://6abc.com/thailand-mass-shooting-largest-in-the-world-thai-child-care/12299398/ Thai police: 35 killed in attack beginning at Thailand childcare center