Police say the 14-year-old suspect in the shooting appears to be suffering from psychological problems and had not been taking daily medication.
A teenager in Thailand suspected of killing two people in a shooting at a luxury shopping center in the capital, Bangkok, will be charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms, among other crimes, police said.
The suspect, 14, will be sent to a juvenile court later on Wednesday, said Maj. Gen. Nakarin Sukhontawit of Bangkok police, adding that officers were having difficulty communicating with the suspect.
Police said the teenager appeared to have suffered a psychological breakdown and had modified a gun, which was designed to fire blanks, to allow it to fire live ammunition.
Chaos erupted at Bangkok’s luxury Siam Paragon shopping mall around rush hour on Tuesday when gunshots rang out, killing two women, from China and Myanmar, and wounding five others, two foreigners and three Thai nationals.
Police said the teenage suspect, who was arrested unharmed later Tuesday after he lowered the gun, was receiving psychological treatment and had not taken the medication he was prescribed earlier that day.
A video posted on social media and broadcast on television showed a long-haired, somewhat bewildered-looking young man wearing a baseball cap speaking to police as he was detained without resistance.
Thai media reported that the suspect was a student at a prominent private school. Investigators are reportedly looking into the teen’s background and plan to talk to his friends, who are online gamers, about his mental state.
“The suspect had a psychological breakdown and fits the profile of an active shooter,” National Police Chief Torsak Sukvimol said in a television interview.
“At first I spoke to him to calm him down… he seemed to hear someone talking to him, he was hearing things, a noise that he said told him to shoot,” the police chief said.
Tuesday’s mall shooting comes just days before the one-year anniversary of the mass murder of 35 people, including 22 children, at a daycare center in northeastern Thailand during an hours-long gun and knife attack by of a former police officer who later shot himself. dead.
In 2020, a Thai soldier shot dead at least 29 people and wounded 57 in an attack that spread across four locations around the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Siam Paragon is Thailand’s most famous luxury shopping mall, attracting crowds of domestic and foreign shoppers daily to its luxury stores, aquarium, cinema and restaurants.
Local news site Khaosod English reported Wednesday that visitors to Siam Paragon continued to pass through metal detectors without being searched a day after the shooting.
At the Siam Paragon shopping center, where yesterday’s shooting by a 14-year-old gunman left two dead, shoppers continue to walk past metal detector beeps at the door without being inspected on Wednesdays, less than 24 hours after the shooting. (Video: @PravitR.) #Thailand #SiamParagon #กราดยิง #พารากอน pic.twitter.com/i5bAAcsdgd
— Khaosod English (@KhaosodEnglish) October 4, 2023