A gunman opens fire on a Thai day-care center, killing 34 people.
BANGKOK — A former police officer opened fire in a day-care center in northeastern Thailand on Thursday, killing 34 people, 22 of whom were children, according to authorities.
Thai PBS footage from Thursday shows the outside of a day-care center in the northeastern Thai province of Nong Bua Lam Phu, where a former police officer went on a shooting rampage. (AFP/Getty Images)
Panya Kamrap, 34, a former police officer who was fired after being discovered with amphetamines, was identified as the gunman by authorities. According to officials, he fatally shot his wife, kid, and himself after the attack.
In the incident in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu, a primarily agricultural district with one of Thailand's worst poverty rates, fifteen people were injured, eight gravely.
"I would want to express my condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones," police chief Damrongsak Kittipraphat told reporters before departing for Nong Bua Lamphu to investigate the incident. "I'll travel to the location and personally lead the operation."
The shooter was identified as former cop Panya Kamrap by police. (Thai Central Investigation Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)
Damrongsak Kittipraphat, National Police Chief, speaks with a police operations team in the northeastern Thai province of Nong Bua Lam Phu following an attack on a day-care center in this photo issued by the Royal Thai Police on Thursday. (AFP/Getty Images)
Mass shootings are uncommon in Thailand, despite the fact that gun ownership — and gun killings — are greater than in other areas of Asia. According to a database maintained by the University of Sydney in Australia, Thailand has more than 10 million privately possessed weapons, 4 million of which are illegal.
In 2020, a Royal Thai Army soldier went on a shooting rampage, murdering 29 people and injuring scores more before being shot dead himself.