A 34-year-old former policeman has reportedly shot dead at least 34 people, including 22 children, at a childcare center in northeastern Thailand, after which he took his own life, according to the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).
The CIB also said the man’s wife and child were among those killed but it is unclear if the shooter and his family are included in the current death toll.
The mass shooting took place Thursday at the Child Development Center in Uthaisawan Na Klang district, Nong Bua Lamphu province, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.
“The prime minister has expressed his condolences on the shooting incident,” the statement read.
The police had mounted a manhunt for the suspected gunman, with the prime minister’s office directing all agencies to apprehend the culprit. All that may have ended as the man took his own life afterwards but investigations are said to be ongoing to ascertain the cause of the dastardly act.
According to sources gun ownership in Thailand is relatively high compared with other countries in Southeast Asia.
Mass shootings in the country are rare but a 2020 incident saw a soldier kill 29 people in a shooting spree that began at a military site and then sent shoppers hunting for cover after the gunman entered a mall, sources said.