The 14-year-old suspect who shot and killed two people at a major Bangkok mall yesterday was hit with five criminal charges and will be sent to a juvenile court, police said Wednesday afternoon.
Bangkok authorities said they will charge the suspect, who went on a shooting spree at the Siam Paragon shopping complex yesterday, with premeditated murder, attempted murder, illegally possessing a firearm, illegally carrying a firearm, and illegally firing in a public place.
The shooter, whose name is withheld due to being underaged, was later trasferred from the Pathumwan police station to the Central Juvenile and Family Court. Police also said they will investigate whether the suspect’s parents had any liability.
Police told media that they had difficulty conversing with the suspect. who was unable to give clear statements yesterday and this morning. They claim the suspect had suffered a mental breakdown and had not taken prescribed medication.
On late Tuesday afternoon, people began running out of the Siam Paragon mall for safety when gunshots were heard. The shooter, sporting combat attire, killed two people, one Chinese and one Burmese, and injured at least five others.
The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok confirmed early Wednesday morning that one Chinese national was killed and one other was injured. The injured victim is said to be receiving medical treatment and is in a stable condition.
Both Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Deputy Prime Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara made phone calls to Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Han Zhiqiang to express their condolences for the deceased Chinese national on behalf of the Thai government.
About an hour after it began, he surrendered to police on the third floor of the Siam Kempinski hotel. In a video that has been widely shared online, the assailant was seen wearing a baseball cap with an American flag on it and appeared to be in the midst of a psychotic episode.
Medical services department director Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn said that the suspect is a patient who had been receiving regular treatment at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health since February, despite earlier reports saying he was a patient at Rajavithi Hospital.
The shooter reportedly fired a modified blank gun made to shoot live ammunition. Police also recovered bullet casings and shooting targets from the suspect’s home which they will use for additional charges.
Police found a backpack belonging to the suspect at one of the toilet stalls in the mall’s toilets on M floor, where the shooter may have changed clothes prior to opening fire. Police reported that the shooter carried the backpack through BTS Skytrain.
Videos also began to surface online claiming to show the suspect practicing at shooting ranges.
The suspect went to a private school named The Essence. On Tuesday night, the school released a statement acknowledging that the suspect is a pupil at the school, and that they would cooperate with police. Their socials have since been deactivated.