Thai Police searched a residence of the 14-year-old shooter involved in the mass shooting incident at Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok on October 3rd and found a large stockpile of bullets and an airsoft gun.
First our previous story:
Now for our update:
The residence is a townhouse with 2.5 stories within the Bang Khae Nuea sub-district of Bang Khae district, Bangkok. The items, which have been confiscated as evidence by police, include:
- seven spent shell casings of .22 calibre bullets.
- Three 5.56 calibre bullets
- One .45 calibre bullet
- Five spent shell casings of shotgun pellets
- Two spent shell casings of .357 calibre bullets
- One spent shell casing of 9mm calibre bullet
- 49 live rounds of 9mm calibre bullets
- 1 silver BB Gun airsoft pistol.
- 1 black airsoft pistol magazine
- 1 target shooting paper sheet (airsoft gun target).
As part of the ongoing investigation, police uncovered that the suspect’s family typically resides in a condominium located in the Sathorn area and visits the suspect at the residence only once a month.
The 14-year-old shooter, whose name continues to be withheld due to his age, has been identified as a student enrolled at The Essence School, a private institution located in Bangkok. Following the incident, the school released a statement extending their condolences to the families affected by the tragedy, both in terms of those who lost their lives and those who sustained injuries. Moreover, the school has requested that the public respects the privacy of the gunman’s family.
As of press time, two people have been confirmed dead in the shooting: one Chinese woman and one Burmese woman. Additionally, five more people have been injured and remain hospitalized. Their identities have not been released to the press.
To aid the injured, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced that Their Royal Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand have taken those injured in the shooting under their royal patronage.
Srettha also said he spoke with Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Han Zhiqiang over the phone after the incident, as a Chinese citizen was killed.
“I had a phone conversation with the Chinese ambassador. He expressed his appreciation for the Thai government’s attention to those impacted by the incident, as well as for Their Majesties’ support for the injured,” Srettha said.
Meanwhile, an initial investigation into the young gunman uncovered that he appeared to be suffering from schizophrenia and wasn’t taking medication, said Police Chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol. A thorough mental examination will be conducted today and as of press time it appears the suspect will be sent to a psychiatric hospital for further treatment before interrogations can continue.
Initially, it is understood that the shooter is facing five charges, as disclosed by Pol Maj Gen Nakarin Sukontawit, the commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 6.
These charges include premeditated murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm in a public place without authorization, and discharging a firearm in public without permission. Additional charges related to the firearms and ammunition discovered at his residence are pending.
The shooter was transferred from the Pathum Wan Police Station to the Central Juvenile and Family Court for legal proceedings. Given his reported mental state, the shooter has been unable to provide a coherent statement both last night and this morning, said Pol Maj Gen Nakarin.
Police are investigating the source of the firearm and bullets, along with identifying the individual responsible for any modifications made to the firearm used in the incident.
Concerns have been raised across Thai social media that due to the suspect being a minor and reportedly having mental problems, he might not be prosecuted.
Under Thai law, if the juvenile court and family finds that there are no grounds for punishment, various actions will be taken, including:
- Providing a verbal warning.
- Temporary release (with/without bail).
- Sending the suspect to be held at an appropriate institution like a mental hospital.
- Entrusting the suspect to an individual or organization as deemed appropriate by the court.
However, it is also understood that the suspect’s parents could potentially be held accountable for their child’s offense under Section 429 of the Civil and Commercial Code unless they can prove that they are not at fault.
A lot of Thai social media users have likened the case to a school shooting committed by Ethan Crumbley in America.
Crumbley, who was 15 when he killed 4 Michigan students, is eligible for life in prison without parole, according to Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Kwamé Rowe. His parents, while Crumbley is awaiting sentencing, are also placed in jail to await trial after being charged with four counts of “involuntary manslaughter.”
The Crumbleys are the first parents in America charged in a mass school shooting after prosecutors said they disregarded their son’s signs of violence and mental illness.