BANGKOK, Oct 7 — A sacked policeman killed 37 people including 24 children in a shooting rampage at a childcare centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province in Thailand.
The 34-year-old man fled the childcare centre in Uthai Sawan in Nong Bua Lamphu province, about 500 km northeast of Bangkok in a vehicle and later killed his wife and son before fatally shooting himself.
On his way home, the man drove his car into bystanders and opened fire at them.
As of 8pm (local time) yesterday, Thai police said 37 people were killed including 24 children between two and four years old and 13 adults including the gunman himself. To date, another 10 were injured, including six in critical condition.
National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapat said the gunman was arrested for drug-related offences and dismissed from the force in June this year.
Meanwhile, police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Paisal Lauesomboon said the gunman was at a court on a drug charge before going on the knife and gun rampage.
He said the man believed to be upset had arrived at the childcare centre to look for his son who was enrolled at the centre, however, the boy was absent during the attack.
“The man started to shoot and stab teachers and children at the centre before fleeing the scene,” he said.
Local media reported that teachers were having lunch while the children were sleeping in several rooms when the shooting occurred.
There were 24 children in the centre during the tragedy. The number of children was fewer as some of them had stayed home following heavy rains.
Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha has instructed relevant agencies to provide necessary assistance and help the families of the victims and those injured in the incident.
He also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.