At least 21 people are dead and 42 others injured after a Thai soldier opened fire Saturday in a popular city just north of Bangkok, reports say. Officials said Saturday night the suspected gunman, who had been holed up inside the mall where the shooting took place, has been fatally shot.
Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma was identified by Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanich as the shooter responsible for the deaths of several people, including one military official, at the Suatham Phithak military camp where the rampage began.
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Law enforcement officials with the knowledge of the incident told The Associated Press that Thomma initially shot and killed another soldier and woman in addition to wounding a third person, apparently over a land dispute.
The Bangkok Post identified the victims as Col. Anantharot Krasae and a 63-year-old female.
It is believed that Thomma then took a gun from the camp and drove to the Terminal 21 Korat Mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, 160 miles northeast of Bangkok. He entered the shopping center at around 3:30 p.m. local time and again opened fire, officials said.
Security footage from inside the mall appeared to show the suspect armed with an assault rifle.
Noppadol Sirijanya, a member of the Sawang Metta Tham Rescue Center in Nakhon Ratchasima, said the death toll reached 16 as of 10 p.m. Police had said earlier that more than 10 people had been killed.
It was unclear how many people were wounded. The authorities put nearby hospitals on alert and asked for blood donations. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Facebook that a doctor was shot while helping an injured person.
It also was not clear whether the gunman had taken hostages inside the mall or how many people might still be inside.
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The man believed to be the gunman posted updates to his Facebook page during the rampage with statements including «No one can escape death» and “Should I give up?» In a later post, he wrote: “I have stopped already.”
His profile picture shows him in a mask and dressed in military-style fatigues and armed with a pistol. The background image is of a handgun and bullets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.