BANGKOK:(WebDesk) A soldier who went on a shooting rampage in northeastern Thailand, killing at least 26 people, was shot dead by security services on Sunday morning after he holed himself up in a shopping centre.
Police and military sources told Reuters they had killed 32-year-old Jakrapanth Thomma a few hours after a failed raid on the Terminal 21 mall in Nakhon Ratchasima left one member of the security forces dead and two injured.
“The police have killed the perpetrator and rescued eight hostages. Some were wounded,” said one of the security sources who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The death was confirmed by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
“Thank you police and army for ending the situation. Shooter shot dead!!!” Anutin said in a post on Facebook.
“The official death toll is 20 and wounded 42… nine are in surgery,” Narinrat Pitchayakamin, a Korat doctor told reporters, revising down an initial death toll of 21. But it was unclear if there were more victims inside the multi-level complex which was packed with Saturday shoppers when the gunman stormed in.
A fleet of ambulances left the front of the complex and forensic police poured into the grim crime scene, shortly before the gunman’s death was confirmed.
The gunmen had opened fire at different locations in Nakhon Ratchasima in the north east of Thailand, 155 miles from capital Bangkok.
Local media showed footage of the soldier getting out of a car in front of a shopping mall and firing a series of shots, sending people running.
“We don’t know why he did this. It appears he went mad,” said Ministry of Defence spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed condolences to the families of those killed, a government spokeswoman said