May 19, 2024

Dozens of people were killed in a mass shooting at a daycare center in northeast Thailand, according to officials in the country. 
According to Thai media outlet Khaosod Online, a gunman stormed a daycare center in the Na Klang district of Nong Bua Lamphu province on Thursday, opening fire and killing multiple people before fleeing.
In the hours that followed, police named him as Panya Kamrab — himself a former officer who was dismissed for drug use and was due in court the day after the shooting.
On Thursday evening, officials gave an updated death toll of 36 people, including 24 children, according to The New York Times. That figure also includes the gunman’s wife and son who were found dead at home following the shooting. The shooter later fatally shot himself at his home, authorities said. 
A spokesperson at a regional public affairs office told Bloomberg that two teachers and one police officer were also killed. According to The Times, one of the slain teachers was eight months pregnant. 
The youngest victim was 2 years old, local police superintendent Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya told Thai Rath TV, according to Reuters
Thai police told the BBC that during the attack, the man shot and stabbed both children and adults. The Times, citing a police official, reported that he used a 9mm pistol and a knife. The gun used in the attack was legally owned, the outlet reported, citing police officials.
Khaosod Online separately reported that the gunman escaped the scene in a white pickup truck.
Police published a wanted poster naming Panya and showing his face.
Per The Times, Thai police said Panya was fired in June this year for using methamphetamine, and was due in court on Friday, the day after the massacre.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha called the incident “shocking” in a statement posted to Facebook and urged all agencies to swiftly aid the victims. 
Mass shootings are rare in Thailand, where possessing an illegal firearm comes with a prison sentence of up to 10 years. However, they are not unheard of. In 2020, a disgruntled soldier went on a 16-hour shooting rampage that killed 29 people. 
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