This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
BANGKOK – A soldier Armed with an assault rifle went on a shooting rampage at a military base and a shopping mall on Saturday, killing several people and broadcasting himself on Facebook Live, according to the police and local news reports.
The authorities said the gunman was a soldier who shot a superior officer and injured several others at the military base. He then drove northeast about nine miles from the base to the Terminal 21 shopping mall in the city of Korat, where he killed some of his victims, according to news reports.
Local news outlets, which said he traveled to the mall in a stolen humvee, put the death toll at as many as 43.
A soldier believed to be connected to the attack posted footage of himself on his Facebook page on Saturday wearing a helmet. “I’m tired now,” he says at one point, and “I can’t move my finger anymore.” The Facebook page was taken down soon after.
Security camera footage from mall and shared on social media showed what appeared to be the gunman walking with a long gun past shops.
A police spokesman, Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen, said that a soldier had shot military officers but could not confirm the number of casualties or that the sergeant was the gunman.
A Defense Ministry spokesman, Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantravanich, also said that a soldier had shot a number of people at Suthampitak Army Base in Nakhon Ratchasima Province.
“He shot and killed his superior officer,” he said . “He also shot and injured military officers.”
The area around the mall in Korat had been cordoned off, and local news outlets reported that many people were trapped inside the mall as the siege continued. Later, Thai media outlets reported that the authorities had rescued about 60 people and taken them to a safe location.
Shortly after 8 pm local time, the police’s Crime Suppression Division declared the gunman a most-wanted suspect and urged the public to call in tips about him.
“The person uses a gun or guns to shoot many people dead and injured,” the agency said in a post on Twitter.
“The culprit is still in the Terminal 21 Korat mall, and is still actively shooting and causing fires in the mall. People in the nearby area should be careful. ”
Ryn Jirenuwat reported from Bangkok, and Richard C. Paddock from Denpasar, Indonesia. Muktita Suhartono contributed reporting from Bangkok.
(Read More )