The armed Thai soldier who was rampaging around a mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand killing and injuring, was killed by the Thai military force on Sunday morning. The shooting caused the death of 20 people and injured several more.
There was an initial failure while launching a raid against the man who killed a serviceman and injured two. The shooter, 32-year-old Jakrapanth Thomma was shot dead by the forces the second time around. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul confirmed the rogue officer's death through a Facebook post.
The shooting that began at 3 PM local time was recorded through CCTV and his personal Facebook page. The motive behind the shooting is still unclear but Thomma had posted that he wanted vengeance in his Facebook account prior to the shooting. Thomma killed his commanding officer before going about on a killing spree in the Terminal 21.
Collection of videos and pictures circulating in the Social Media
People and media have continuously posted videos and footage showing the panic around the mall and outside the mall as Thomma continued his rampage for hours. At a certain point, the man asked through his Facebook account if he should surrender.
The attack began when Thomma went to Suatham Phithak Military Camp and killed his commanding officer Col Anantharot Krasae, 48, and Col Anantharot's 63-year-old mother-in-law, Anong Mitchan. He went on to steal an HK33 assault rifle and ammunition. He took a Humvee vehicle from the camp and left the premises.
Thomma arrived at the Terminal 21 shopping centre in Korat which is quite far away from Bangkok, at around 6 PM in the evening. He started his rampage inside the mall as he got out of the vehicle. He kept posting updates while attacking people.
As the evening progressed the rogue kept hostages with him. People were hiding in different parts of the mall including storage facility and clothes racks.
Around 8 PM on Saturday, Thomma's mother was brought to the mall to request him to stop. In the meantime, Thomma is said to have posted on Facebook saying that he was tired and his fingers were hurting. As the night progressed the death toll continued to rise.
Facebook closed off Thomma's account following requests from Thai officials. The company said in a statement that "Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this tragedy in Thailand. There is no place on Facebook for people who commit this kind of atrocity, nor do we allow people to praise or support this attack."
Nearing the end of the day the military and the police forces were working together to clear out the mall. The ground floor was cleared off by 11.35 PM. The news coverage was stopped because the officials didn't want the assailant getting to know about the information about the operation. The process of finding ways to get the shooter to stop the rampage ended around 9 AM Sunday morning with his death.