Bangkok, Oct 6 (EFE).- At least 34 people, mostly children, were killed when a gunman opened fire in a nursery in northeastern Thailand on Thursday, emergency services told EFE.
The suspect, identified as a 34-year-old former police officer, committed suicide after the attack, the Central Investigation Bureau said on its Facebook account.
Panya Kamrarb also shot dead his wife and child before killing himself, Naresuan Rescue Association said on Facebook.
In the early afternoon the suspect entered the nursery – which usually cater to children between two and five years old – in Nong Bua Lamphu province and fired at those inside before fleeing in a white Toyota pickup truck, launching a manhunt.
Photos provided by the police and circulating on social media show dozens of bloody bodies scattered on floors, and distraught relatives arriving at the center cordoned off by police.
Authorities have not specified the number of injured people.
Panya formerly served as a police officer at Na Wang Police Station in the province, but was arrested with methamphetamines and expelled from the police force, the Royal Thai Police said on Facebook.
The Nong Bua Lamphu hospital called for people to donate blood urgently to treat the wounded.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has expressed his condolences for the incident.
Gun ownership in Thailand is relatively high compared with other countries in the region, but mass shootings are rare.
In 2020 a soldier killed at least 29 people and wounded 58 in a rampage that spanned multiple locations, including a military camp and a large shopping mall in lower northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province.
Last month a police officer shot dead two colleagues and wounded another at at the Army War College of the Army Training Command in Bangkok. EFE