Bystanders run from a Bangkok mall after a gunman opened fire and killed three
Eye witness footage from the scene of a Bangkok shopping mall shows people fleeing the scene of a shooting that left three dead and three more injured. (Credit: Reuters/@D.weii_ii/X)
A 14-year-old suspect is in custody after a shooting at a popular upscale mall in Thailand left three dead and injured four others.
The shooting took place at the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok during peak shopping hours and left crowds scrambling to reach safety, with police eventually arresting the suspected gunman and bringing him in for questioning, according to a report from Reuters.
Video from a witness at the scene showed hundreds of people, including children, fleeing to the outside of the mall after the gunfire erupted.
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Shoppers flee the scene of a popular mall in Bangkok, Thailand, after a 14-year-old gunman allegedly opened fire, killing three. (@D.weii_ii/X)
Other videos posted to social media showed a person, dressed up in a baseball cap, dark shirt and camouflage pants, holding a handgun inside the mall, according to The Associated Press.
“It happened in just a few minutes. We saw all the people run, run, run, we didn’t understand what was happening,” one witness, 26-year-old Shir Yahav from Israel, told Reuters. “We went with them, and then we heard several shots, like six or seven shots. We blocked the door of the store.”
Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took to social media to express concern for public safety.
“I am aware of the shooting event at Siam Paragon… I am most worried about public safety,” the prime minister said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Three people were killed in the shooting, one who was identified as a Chinese tourist, according to a report from Viral Press.
A 35-year-old restaurant worker identified as Susinee told Reuters that he and coworkers heard the shots, causing them to flee their Japanese ramen outlet in the mall.
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Bystanders look on after a mass shooting at a mall in Bangkok, Thailand. (Reuters)
“We just ran out,” she told the outlet while standing next to multiple colleagues.
According to The Associated Press, many onlookers lingered outside the mall as first responders and medical crews entered the building. Witnesses expressed surprise at the gunfire, with some saying they were unsure if the shooting was a hoax.
“I don’t think they were well prepared for this,” one witness 45-year-old Gautam Vora, told The Associated Press. “I think most of the staff inside the shopping mall were confused and they were running helter-skelter, too.”
Gun violence is not uncommon in Thailand, The Associated Press report noted, with the incident coming just days before the country was set to mark the anniversary of its largest mass killing. In that incident, an attacker entered a rural day care center and killed 36 people, most of them preschoolers, with a gun and a knife.
(Bystanders look on after a mass shooting at a mall in Bangkok, Thailand. (Reuters))
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Meanwhile, the mall announced that it had evacuated shoppers and staff from the building and apologized for the incident.
“Siam Paragon would like to express our deep apologies for the unexpected event,” the mall said in a statement. “Authorities have been able to control the situation and arrest the culprit.”
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.