Ex-cop kills 22 children, 12 others in Thai daycare shooting


BANGKOK—A former policeman turned the weapon on himself after shooting dead his wife and children at his home on Thursday after shooting dead at a nursery school in eastern Thailand, killing 34 people, including 22 children, he said. Police said.

Police have identified the attacker as a former military officer who was dismissed last year on drug allegations.

District police officer Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya told witnesses that the gunman was also seen using a knife in the attack in the town of Uthai Sawan in Nong Bua Lamphu province, 500 kilometers (310 miles) northeast of Bangkok. Stated.

About 30 children were at the center when the shooters arrived, but fewer than usual because heavy rain prevented many from visiting the district, who was working in a nearby office at the time, said. Official Jidapa Boonsom told Reuters.

“The shooters came around lunchtime and shot four or five nursery workers first,” said Jidapa, adding that among them was a teacher who was eight months pregnant.

At first, people thought the shots were fireworks, she said.

“It’s really shocking. I have never seen a

Jidapa said the attackers broke into a locked room where the children were sleeping. She said she thought he killed the children there with a knife.

Videos posted on social media showed sheets covering what appeared to be the bodies of children lying in pools of blood.

Reuters was unable to immediately authenticate the footage.

Police spokesman Paisan Luesomboon told ThaiPBS broadcaster the shooter attended a court hearing Thursday in connection with a drug case and went to a daycare to find his child, who was not there. said.

“He was already stressed. When he couldn’t find the kids, he became even more stressed and started shooting.”

Thailand has strict gun laws, with illegal firearms carrying prison sentences of up to 10 years, but has a higher ownership rate than some other countries in the region.

Illegal weapons imported from conflict-torn neighboring countries are common.

However, mass shootings are rare. In 2020, at least 29 people were killed and 57 injured in his quadruple rampage by a soldier angry at a failed real estate deal.