Bangkok mall shooting: ‘Mentally ill’ schoolboy, 14, wearing US-flag cap kills two and wounds five in gun rampage at upmarket Thai shopping mall where all but one victim was female

A 14-year-old school boy has killed two people and wounded five others during a shooting rampage at a major shopping centre in Bangkok.

The schoolboy – whom police said appeared to be suffering from mental illness – opened fire inside the Siam Paragon building in the centre of the Thai capital on Tuesday afternoon shortly after 4pm local time (10am BST).

Video footage showed a long-haired boy wearing a black shirt, glasses and a cap with a US flag motif being taken into custody by police. He was apprehended less than an hour after the killing rampage started.

A visitor from China and a Myanmar national have been identified as the two deceased victims.  All but one of those who were shot were women, police said.

A police spokesperson told reporters the situation was now under control, just hours after footage on social media showed hundreds of terrified shoppers fleeing from the scene as multiple gunshots rang out throughout the mall.  

The alleged gunman is seen being detained by police after opening fire at a Bangkok mall

Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy (pictured) who went on a shooting rampage inside a luxury Thailand shopping mall, killing at least two people and injuring five others

People leave Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok after at least ten rounds of gunfire are heard

Jinnan Zhao, 34, from Beijing, China, was identified as one of the deceased victims. She had been walking through the shopping centre when the teen opened fire with a Glock 19 handgun.

Paramedics were seen carrying her body to an ambulance. A post-mortem examination will now be carried out.

Earlier, Yutthana Sretthanan, director of Bangkok’s Erawan Emergency Medical Center, had said three people were killed and six were injured. There was no explanation of the discrepancy, though Yutthana later supported the police number. 

Providing an update on the incident, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said: ‘I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased following the shooting inside Siam Paragon.’

‘I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured.’

During the emergency response earlier, injured victims were seen being carried from the mall before a special dispatch team swooped to apprehend the teen gunman.

Hundreds of terrified shoppers could be seen fleeing in panic or hiding in nearby restaurants and shops after reports of more than ten gunshots.

Videos shared on social media earlier showed people, including children, running out of the doors of the Siam Paragon mall as security guards ushered them out. 

An injured man is treated by emergency medical staff in the back of an ambulance following a shooting incident inside a shopping centre

An injured shopper is treated as terrified locals fled from a mall amid a suspected shooting in Bangkok

CCTV images of a suspected gunman who has injured at least two people at an upmarket shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand

CCTV images of a suspected gunman who has killed at least two people at an upmarket shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand

Emergency responders are seen outside the Siam Paragon mall as a shooting incident was still ongoing inside

Videos shared on social media showed people, including children, running out of the doors of the Siam Paragon mall as security guards ushered them out

An armed police dispatch pursued the teen shooter and cornered him at the nearby Siam Kempinski Hotel just after 5pm. He surrendered without struggle and was seen in video being led away in a cap emblazoned with a US flag.

Dozens of police vehicles and a number of ambulances could be seen outside one of the shopping centre’s main entrances in the wake of the incident.

People were escorted from the mall, while bystanders could be seen walking past along the gridlocked road outside.

One of the videos during the attack showed people taking cover in a darkened room inside a restaurant. The authenticity of the videos could not immediately be verified.

Local broadcaster Channel 3 reported sounds similar to gunfire were heard inside, coming from a bathroom in the mall.

A major nearby transit stop was shut down by officials as the evening rush hour began and intense rain pounded through city.

Following the initial reports of gunshots, first responders could be seen entering the mall as sirens wailed outside.

Witnesses said crowds of people left the building, one of several shopping centers in the area popular with tourists and well-heeled Thais alike.

Thai police officers and rescue workers are seen outside Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok

Police respond to a shooting incident inside the Siam Paragon mall as they apprehend the teen shooter

A police officer collects a gun following shots fired at the luxury Siam Paragon shopping mall, in Bangkok

Tourists evacuate from a shopping mall in Bangkok after a 14-year-old gunman opens fire, killing at least two

An injured shopper is treated as terrified locals fled from a mall amid a suspected shooting in Bangkok

One witness who was inside the mall, a Chinese tourist named Liu Shiying, told the AP that she saw people running and saying someone had opened fire. She said an alarm rang out inside the mall and the lights went out. She is still taking cover inside the mall.

‘We’re temporarily hiding. Who dares to go out?’

Thanpawasit Singthongkham, 31, who works at a Japanese restaurant in the mall told AFP: ‘At around 4.30 pm, I heard loud gun noises, continuously, about 10 times.

‘Then the department store announced that there was a shooting. The emergency sign was turned on and everyone ran to get out.’

Police spokesperson Achayon Kraithong said the national police chief had ordered and dispatched officers to control the area to resolve the situation. Television showed long queues of traffic outside the mall in torrential rain.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters the attacker had been apprehended and the situation brought under control.

‘Police are clearing the scene. The situation is easing,’ Srettha told reporters.

Police and mall officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Thai police officers secure Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok following a shooting incident in the mall

An ambulance is seen outside Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok, as emergency services respond to the gunfire

Thai police officers secure Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok amid gunshots from an shooter

Ambulances wait outside an exit of the Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok while shoppers rush out

An ambulance is seen outside Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok

People wait outside Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok after at least two people are killed after a shooter fires some ten round of gunshots

Onlookers use their mobile phones as they look at Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok as police arrest the suspect inside

People leave Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok after at least ten rounds of gunfire is sounded

The shooting comes just days before the one-year anniversary of one of the bloodiest days in recent Thai history, when an ex-police officer armed with a knife and gun attacked a nursery, murdering 24 children and 12 adults.

Thailand has high rates of gun ownership and has a long and violent history of firearm incidents, both small and large.

In 2020, a former army officer went on a rampage in a shopping mall in Korat, murdering 29 people and wounding scores more.

[ad_1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *