Ceremonies, funerals in Thailand for victims of mass shooting

Thai security forces evacuate people from shopping center where Jakrapanth holed up in the basement (Photo Credit: Athlt Perawongmetha/Reuters)
Thai security forces evacuate people from shopping center where Jakrapanth holed up in the basement (Photo Credit: Athlt Perawongmetha/Reuters)

Ceremonies are taking place in Thailand for the victims of a mass shooting that saw a soldier kill 29 people before being shot dead by police.

Some funerals will take place at a temple in Nakhon Ratchasima province, north-east of Bangkok, where the shooting took place, and will be attended by the president of the king’s privy council.

Local media reported that a government representative had laid flowers at the funeral of a 13-year-old victim on Sunday.

Over a hundred police officers held a guard of honour at a Bangkok airport on Monday for two special forces officers who were killed by the gunman.

Their funerals will take place at a temple in Bangkok.

“Thank you to all police commanders and officers and other departments for working together to the best of your abilities with courage and sacrifice in the face of danger,” Police Chief Chakthip Chaijinda said in a Monday statement.

Volunteers, wearing yellow scarves and blue hats – colours that show loyalty to the Thai royal family – lined up on Monday morning before entering a mall in Nakhon Ratchasima city, over 200 kilometres north-east of the capital, to help clear up debris left over from the shooting.

The 32-year-old gunman was holed up for hours in the Terminal 21 mall during the last part of his rampage.

He was shot dead there by police after carrying out what was the country’s worst ever such massacre.

Over a thousand mourners held a vigil for the victims late Sunday and some placed flowers outside Terminal 21.

Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichien Chantharanothai told a news conference late Sunday that 30 people, including the gunman, were killed, and 58 others were injured.

The gunman was identified as Jakrapanth Thomma, a sergeant.

He embarked on a killing spree targeting soldiers, police, and civilians after stealing heavy weapons and a Humvee from a military base.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the shooting stemmed from a personal dispute over payment in a home sale deal between the gunman and his commanding officer’s mother-in-law.


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