Teenage Boy Arrested After Deadly Shooting in Bangkok

Visitors evacuate from a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday, Hundreds of shoppers fled from the major shopping center in Bangkok. (Photo: AP)

Two people died and five were injured in a shooting on the afternoon of 3 October at Bangkok’s popular shopping mall Siam Paragon. The two victims were from Myanmar and China. The  injured included another Chinese national, three Thais, and a Lao citizen.

The tragedy struck at about 4:20 pm, when the gunman fired several shots, sending bystanders scattering in every direction in search of safety as they witnessed the event unfold. It was only 50 minutes later that the police arrested a 14-year-old boy. The student, who is enrolled in a local school not far from the mall, surrendered at approximately 5:10 pm on the third floor of the mall while still wearing a baseball cap with the US flag embroidered on its front.

Emergency medical teams were on the scene within minutes, attending to the injured. Five individuals were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment. 

Initial assessments by authorities suggest that the motives of the act remain unclear. But the chief of police, Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, said to the BBC the young shooter’s medical records show a prescription to treat a mental health condition at Rajvithi hospital. According to the BBC report, the boy had just recently stopped taking the prescribed medicine.

“I just had my first real near-death experience. The sound of people screaming and running away always stuck in my ears. The moment I got off the train and heard the sound, I prayed that I would be okay. The water flooded very heavily. And the person who did it was from the same school as my close friend, which made it even more stressful, luckily I was okay,” a witness posted on X shortly after 8 pm last night. 

Siam Paragon has been temporarily closed in the wake of the incident. 

The police have launched an investigation to ascertain the motive and collect evidence to bring the perpetrator to justice. 

Several social media users are asking the government to take responsibility for the two deaths while  expressing frustration for the failure of security measures in the mall and other recent shootings. An X user further urged the authorities to impose severe punishment for the perpetrator regardless of his young age.

Mass shootings in Thailand have been on the rise in recent years. Yesterday’s event was just three days before the one-year anniversary of the children massacre in Nong Bua Lamphu, North-eastern Thailand, where an ex-policeman killed more than 24 children between two and five years old and 12 adults. 

In 2020, another soldier killed 29 people and injured several more in a shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.