Shooting at major Bangkok shopping mall kills 2 people, and a teen suspect is arrested

Visitors evacuate a shopping mall Tuesday in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK — A teenage boy with a handgun opened fire inside a major shopping mall in the center of Thailand’s capital Tuesday afternoon, killing two people before being apprehended, authorities said.

Police said a suspect was taken into custody less than an hour after the first reported gunshots at the Siam Paragon Mall, one of Bangkok’s biggest and most upscale shopping destinations.


Video uploaded to social media and broadcast on television showed a long-haired teenage boy in the custody of police. Major Thai media said he was 14 years old, though recently appointed police chief Torsak Sukvimol confirmed only that he is a minor and that he had a record of being treated for mental illness. He said police had not yet learned where the suspect obtained his gun.

Torsak said two people had been killed, a visitor from China and a Myanmar national, and five people hurt. Earlier, Yutthana Sretthanan, director of Bangkok’s Erawan Emergency Medical Center, had said three people were killed and six were injured. There was no explanation of the discrepancy, though Yutthana later supported the police numbers.

Police spokesman Archayon Kraithong told reporters the situation was under control at the mall, which sells high-end fashions and luxury cars, and includes a cinema, an aquarium and the attached five-star Siam Kempinski Hotel.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters that he was informed by police that one of the dead was a Chinese tourist about 30 years old.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased following the shooting inside Siam Paragon,” Srettha, who took office in August, said in an earlier statement. “I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured.”

Gun violence is not uncommon in Thailand, though mass shootings are rare.

The incident happened days before Thais were planning to mark the anniversary of the country’s biggest mass killing by an individual, a grisly gun and knife attack at a rural day care center in a northeastern province that killed 36 people, most of them preschoolers, on Oct. 6, 2022.

Tuesday’s shooting prompted authorities to temporarily shut access to the nearby Siam Square elevated train stop, preventing commuters from exiting as the evening rush hour began.

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