Frederique Beck Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
Outside the city of Nakhon Ratchasima,Thailand, at around 3 pm last Saturday, (Febraury 9) 30 people, including the gunman, were dead after Thailand’s first mass shooting occurred, shocking and the nation.
This event took place on Magha Puja, a Buddhist holiday celebrating a meeting held by the Buddha and his students on the third lunar month, holding a lot of religious significance. It is now without a doubt that, this year, the celebration has been tainted by death and loss and will continue to be for the families of those who died.
The 32 year old shooter, Jakraphanth Thomma, was a sergeant-major who got into a land dispute with his commanding officer and the colonel’s mother-in-law, after which he shot them both dead in a fit of anger.
Thomma then traveled to his army base, Surathampithak army base, stealing a truck and other military supplies, including nearly 800 rounds of ammunition as he planned and began his killing spree.
In the process of stealing the weapons and supplies the man killed at least one soldier.
After, he drove 15 minutes to the nearest Buddhist temple and opened fire, killing 9 people before moving to the city centre and entered Terminal 21 shopping mall.
Thomma shot at the shoppers and passing cars, killing 16 drivers and shoppers while injuring many more. Hundreds of shoppers were trapped in the mall during the shooting, sending messages to loved ones and a few getting injured by the stamped.
While the man was killing and shooting individuals he streamed the event to his facebook.
Individuals at the event reported him aiming for the head.
He was quoted writing, “Nobody can avoid death.”
It took 12 hours before Thomma was killed by a special police squad, one officer being killed in action, and the posts have been taken down.
Nobody could have foreseen this tragic event but the public have called for the government to reform the military and gun ownership laws, as Jakraphanth Thomma already owned five guns himself after his home was investigated for answers.