In an effort to understand the motives behind the horrific shooting spree at the Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok earlier this week, local authorities are set to interrogate a shooting instructor who supervised a fourteen-year-old shooter during his practises. In the wake of the incident, valuable insight was gleaned about the shooting range where the adolescent undertook his training, as stated by Pol Maj Gen Nakharin Sukhonthawit, the commander of Metropolitan Police Division 6.
The shooting range in question is located within the Territorial Defense Command of the Royal Thai Army on Charoen Krung Road in the Phra Nakhon district. Following the Siam Paragon shootings, a video quickly went viral, revealing the young person in question engrossed in a shooting practice under the vigilant supervision of an instructor clad in military camouflage. The date of the video’s shooting remains unknown.
Pol Maj Gen Nakharin communicated that the team of investigators will be discussing with the instructor to ascertain whether there were others accompanying the young shooter during his visit to the shooting range. The matter of whether the youngster brought his own weapon to the range, or if he enlisted the use of one from the range itself is an area of great interest. For context, it is noteworthy that individuals under the age of 20 require parental supervision for practising shooting at the range.
The ghastly incident played out in the crowded vicinity of the Siam Paragon mall, with the sound of gunshots triggering mass hysteria, as hundreds of terrified civilians flooded the streets in a desperate bid to escape. The teenage shooter was finally brought into police custody at a furniture shop within the precincts of the mall, following a horrifying spree that culminated in the tragic loss of two foreign women, leaving five others severely wounded in its trail.
The young suspect was then remanded to a juvenile detention center and is expected to undergo further psychiatric evaluation. Suspense surrounding the case continues to build as developments reveal the possibility of a BB guns business, based in Thung Khru district, bearing connections to the mall shooting. Reports suggest the teen may have used a gun specifically designed for firing blanks, altered to load bullets, leading to the arrest of three individuals suspected of selling the weapon and ammunition to the young shooter.
This surprising loophole in the law, which exempts blank guns from being classified as firearms, and hence spares their owners from needing to acquire a license, has spurred authorities into initiating reforms. They are committed to addressing this prevailing issue in the legislation, ensuring stringent licensing requirements to avert such dreadful incidents in the future.