- On Saturday, 32-year-old Jakrapanth Thomma, a corporal in the Thai Royal Army, is suspected to have shot and killed his commanding officer Col. Anantharot Krasae, as well as a fellow soldier and a 63-year-old woman at a military base outside Nakhon Ratchasima, a Thai city about 250 km northeast of Bangkok.
- After killing his fellow soldiers and the elderly woman, the man stole a Humvee and traveled to the city centre, where he opened fire on shoppers at a local mall. A cooking gas container in the mall’s food court exploded under a hail of bullets.
- The massacre may have been premeditated, with the soldier posting messages to his Facebook and Instagram pages, including a cryptic Facebook message saying “nobody can escape death” just two hours before the attack began
- The suspect live-updated part of the massacre, posting pictures of himself in full tactical gear, a facemask and rifle, and writing “So tired,” “Are they dead? It’s three people,” and other messages before his profiles were deleted.
- At least one police officer was killed after Thomma entered the city, and authorities fear that at least 20 people have been killed. The number of injuries remains unknown.
- Dramatic footage released from the scene shows people running in fear from the attacker, with heavily special forces troops deployed in the city’s streets.
เหตุทหารคลั่งกราดยิงคนที่โคราช ล่าสุด 19.25 น. คนร้ายหนีขึ้นชั้น 4 ของห้างเทอร์มินอล 21 รัศมีการยิงถึงบิ๊กซีที่อยู่ตรงข้ามกัน ประชาชนแตกตื่นวิ่งหนีตายจ้าละหวั่น#กราดยิงโคราช#savekorat#กราดยิงทั่วเมืองโคราช pic.twitter.com/Fc1stuVMpN— Thairath_News (@Thairath_News) February 8, 2020
- In the mall, Thomma is believed to have taken over a dozen people hostage, turning the assault into a hostage situation, with law enforcement seeking the suspect’s arrest and attempting to ensure the release of the hostages. The hostages are thought to be held on the 4th floor of the mall.
- Thai Prime Minister Pyraut Chan-o-cha has told reporters that he is paying close attention to the situation, and has asked law enforcement to apprehend the suspect as soon as possible.
- Later, it was reported that the man started shootout with the special forces and managed to leave the building. Two casualties were brought out of the mall.