UPDATED 1:09 PM PT – Thursday, October 6, 2022
At least 37 people, including 24 children and 13 adults, are dead in Thailand’s deadliest mass shooting after a former policeman went on a killing rampage.
On Thursday, 34-year-old Panya Kamrab went to the Utai Sawan Child Development Center in the Nongbualampu Province to collect his child. According to police spokesperson Paisal Luesomboon, Kamrab reportedly became stressed after not being able to locate his stepchild. He then went on a stabbing and shooting spree. He attacked anyone who came in contact with him, including children.
“He started shooting, slashing, killing children at the Uthai Sawan daycare center,” Paisal said.
Daycare workers said they saw Kamrab approach the child center with a gun. They attempted to lock the doors. However, he shot his way inside the locked room. He then proceeded to stab the sleeping children. A teacher who was eight months pregnant was among those victims stabbed to death. Locals said the children who attended the daycare center were between the ages of two to five years old.
Kamrab fled the daycare which then sent the police on an hours-long search. Police concluded that Kamrab returned home after the massacre. There, he killed his wife and stepson before taking his own life.
Authorities have disclosed that Kamrab was removed from his post last year as a policeman following drug allegations. Kamrab, had just appeared in court hours before the massacre on drug charges.
Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha made a public statement after the disturbing event.
“I have received a report,” Chan-o-cha said. “We are checking the motive. We know that he was a policeman. He might have personal problems. The society must take care of everybody. He might have something inside him, facing problems. I don’t take anyone’s side. This shouldn’t happen. It definitely shouldn’t happen. I feel deep sadness towards the victims and relatives. Nobody thought this would happen.”
The massacre is among one of the worst involving children being killed by one person. The motives behind the attack are still unclear.