The suspect in a mass shooting that left two dead at a major Bangkok mall is a 14-year-old suffering a mental health episode, police said Tuesday night.
In a case that quickly drew public scrutiny over the assailant’s suspected gaming habits, Lt. Gen. Achayon Kraithong said that the alleged shooter, a 14-year-old Thai boy, had stopped taking his medication and suffered an “episode.”
“The suspect is a patient at Rajavithi Hospital and didn’t take his medication,” Achayon told reporters during a press briefing at 8pm. “The suspect feels that there is somebody telling him to shoot people from what our initial investigation discovered.”
Achayon said the suspect was found to be in a confused state when he was apprehended by police. The suspect is currently detained at Pathumwan police station.
Achayon told the media police would not be able to release any additional information as the suspect is underage.
Two people were killed and six injured late Tuesday afternoon at the Siam Paragon shopping mall when a shooter opened fire with a 9mm Glock handgun around 4pm.
In photos and videos circulating online, the shooter is seen wearing combat attire with a cap of the American flag. Police were able to apprehend the suspect on the third floor of the mall near the walkway connecting to the Siam Kempinski hotel by 5:20pm.
The Bangkok Emergency Medical Centre confirmed that six were injured amid the shooting. Three were admitted to Chulalongkorn Hospital, two at Police General Hospital, and one at Bangkok Christian Hospital.
Two people, one Chinese and one Burmese, were confirmed to have been killed during the shooting, despite initial reports stating there were three who were killed.
Siam Paragon released a statement via social media at 6pm expressing deepest condolences to those affected and gratitude to police in handling the situation.
“Siam Paragon would like to express its deepest condolences regarding the unexpected incident that occurred today,” the statement read. “As soon as the incident occurred, the police and Siam Paragon’s security team immediately evacuated customers and employees from the building, prioritizing the safety of all customers, employees, and tenants.”
When asked if there was a correlation with video games, as seen in initial Thai media reports that the suspect had a video game addiction, Achayon acknowledged that the suspect did play video games but refused to elaborate whether there was a link.