BANGKOK — A former police officer opened fire at a child-care facility in northeastern Thailand on Thursday, killing more than 30 people, more than 20 of them children.
The gunman, identified by the police as Panya Kamrab, 34, shot and stabbed children at the child-care center, some as young as 2, Police Col. Jakkapat Vijitraithaya said in an interview with the local television station, Thairath TV. He then fatally shot himself and his wife and child, according to Police Maj. Gen. Paisan Leusomboon. It was the deadliest shooting in Thailand since 2020, when a soldier armed with an assault rifle killed at least 29 people at a shopping mall.
Mr. Panya was a former corporal who was fired from the police force after being arrested with methamphetamine on him, according to the Royal Thai Police. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered government agencies to help the injured, said Anucha Burachaisri, an acting spokesman at the prime minister’s office.
The shooting took place at the Child Development Center Uthaisawan, in the northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu in Thailand. After the shooting, the gunman also shot at people as he drove away, Major Gen. Paisan Leusomboon, a spokesman for Thailand’s Region 4 Police Force told The New York Times by telephone.
The gunman killed more than 20 children in total, using a gun and a knife, Thairath TV reported, citing local police. Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan sent his condolences to the families of those killed, including the families of the gunman’s wife and child.
The attacker stabbed children in the head with a knife, and also stabbed a teacher who was eight months pregnant, a teacher at the center told Khom Chad Luek TV.
Muktita Suhartono and Ryn Jirenuwat contributed reporting.