14-year-old arrested for Bangkok mall shooting that leaves at least 2 dead

14-year-old arrested for Bangkok mall shooting that leaves at least 2 dead14-year-old arrested for Bangkok mall shooting that leaves at least 2 dead
via Reuters, AFP News Agency
Michelle De Pacina
October 3, 2023
A 14-year-old gunman was arrested in Thailand after going on a shooting spree at a luxury mall in Bangkok, killing at least two people and injuring four others.
What happened: On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of shoppers were evacuated from the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok’s commercial area after several gunshots were heard at around 4:00 p.m. local time. Footage from mall goers shows shoppers at the mall fleeing for the exits upon hearing gunshots. 
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However, several people were shot before police arrived at the scene and eventually disarmed the assailant. Ambulances reportedly had to navigate through heavy rush hour traffic to transport the victims to the hospital.
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About the gunman: The 14-year-old male gunman, whose name has not yet been disclosed to the public, reportedly attended a school close to the mall and had been receiving psychiatric treatment at Rajavithi Hospital. However, he did not take his prescribed medicine on the day of the shooting. 
“We have spoken to his parents,” National police chief Torsak Sukvimol told reporters, according to Reuters. “The suspect said that someone was telling him to shoot others.” 
In an image shared by emergency services, a police officer can be seen handcuffing the boy, who is lying face down on the ground. Authorities also reportedly posted a grainy image of the suspected gunman, who was wearing glasses, khaki cargo pants and a baseball cap with the U.S. flag on it. 
Victims of the shooting: Thai emergency services initially announced three dead but then revised it down to one before Torsak confirmed that two people had been killed, according to BBC. Torsak noted the two people killed were from China and Myanmar. 
Siam Paragon mall statement: A spokesperson for Siam Paragon mall conveyed their condolences to the victims of the incident and expressed gratitude to both the police and the mall’s security team for their swift response. 
“As soon as the incident occurred, the police and Siam Paragon’s security team immediately evacuated customers and employees from the building, prioritizing the safety of all customers, employees and tenants,” the spokesperson stated.
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Thailand’s gun violence: In recent years, Thailand has experienced gun violence incidents, including a deadly attack by an ex-police officer who killed 36 people, including 22 children, in a nursery, and another incident in which a soldier killed at least 29 people in a rampage.
The incident at Siam Paragon comes as Thailand’s government is trying to boost tourism to stimulate its economy, particularly by attracting Chinese tourists.
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