Mother of Thai nursery killer apologizes for son’s actions

Bangkok, Oct 12 (EFE).- The mother of the former police officer who carried out a massacre at a kindergarten in the northeastern Thai province of Nong Bua Lamphu in which 37 people, including 24 children, were killed, has apologized for her son’s actions.

In a short video released by the Thai mental health department on Wednesday, the woman said she was “very sorry”.

“I apologize for my son’s actions, I am very sorry. If my mental health improves, I will go and apologize to all the families,” Panya Kamrab’s mother, who did not reveal her identity in the video, said.

She added that she had not attended the funerals of the victims because she was “mentally exhausted” after her son’s killings last week.

The health department, which has deployed a team of specialists to support families dealing with the trauma of losing a child or loved one, has urged the Thai community not to stigmatize the killer’s family.

Family members and close friends bid their final farewell to the victims on Tuesday after three days of funeral rites at various temples and the cremations of the bodies.

Traditionally, cremations are carried out individually, but Tuesday’s were done in groups due to the large number of victims.

Relatives and loved ones left toys, including bicycles and stuffed animals, for the spirits of the children, a tradition in Thai funerals.

On Thursday last week, the 34-year-old former police officer burst into a nursery in Uthai Sawan and shot and stabbed at least 37 people to death.

He then fled in a white pickup truck, sparking a manhunt, and went to his house where he murdered his wife and son before committing suicide.

Among the fatalities in the nursery, which catered for children from aged two to five, was a pregnant teacher. Another 15 were wounded, eight of them seriously.

Uthai Sawan is a sleepy town of about 6,300 people in Thailand’s impoverished, rural north-east, where most of the villagers are farmers.

The massacre shocked Uthai Sawan and the rest of the country, as well as the international community.

Gun ownership in Thailand is relatively high compared with other countries in the region, but mass shootings of this nature are rare.

In 2020, a soldier killed at least 29 people and wounded 58 in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Last month, a soldier shot dead two colleagues and wounded another at the Army War College of the Army Training Command in Bangkok. EFE


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