Pol Maj-General Theeradej Thammasuthee, the commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s investigation division, verified that the 14-year-old suspect in question had taken target practice at the Territorial Defence Shooting Range, located in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.
In a revelation that surprised many, the highly ranked officer shared that, “According to the suspect’s own admission during the police investigation, he had undertaken more than 20 practice sessions at the range on the day preceding the fatal incident,”.
Emphasizing the strict regulations of the range, he pointed out that the facility strictly admits members only. Furthermore, individuals under the age of 18 are mandated to be in the company of an adult member during their time at the range.
The recent, grave incident, where a 14-year-old boy feloniously discharged a modified blank gun in Siam Paragon, led to the unfortunate demise of two individuals and left five others wounded. The incident which transpired on a regular Tuesday afternoon sent shockwaves through the community.
A series of videos circulated on various social platforms appeared to show the young gun-wielding suspect engaging in a shooting spree at a place, later identified as the Territorial Defence Shooting Range.
Investigations carried out by the Royal Thai Army, the administrators of the range, uncovered that the young shooter was not a registered member. This information led to the conclusion that he might have gained access through an adult member’s supervision.
Upon reviewing the digital footage from the range’s surveillance systems over the previous ten days, no record of the shooter’s presence was uncovered, a reliable source disclosed on Friday.
The staff of the shooting range were directed to compile any useful information regarding the suspect’s visits, according to the same source. This crucial data would then be forwarded to the local law-enforcement tasked with this high-profile case.
The shooting range operates daily from 10 am to 6 pm, without a break for holidays, as stated on the range’s online portal.
In connected news, the Justice Minister, Tawee Sodsong, revealed on Friday that the Juvenile Detention Centre has referred the young suspect to the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute for an in-depth psychiatric assessment and possible treatment. However, he refrained from discussing further details regarding the boy’s mental health as he deemed that such revelations would infringe on the boy’s personal rights.
According to an insider, the teenager was admitted to the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute on Thursday afternoon following a decision by the Juvenile Detention Centre that a thorough mental health examination was necessary due to the severe nature of the criminal case at hand.
Earlier, the Central Juvenile and Family Court ordered detainment of the suspect at the Juvenile Detention Centre. The court dismissed the police’s plea to transfer the teenager to the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute for psychiatric evaluation, pointing to the lack of substantial evidence that substantiated the claim of mental illness in the suspect.