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Ex-Thai cop with history of drug abuse kills 37, family, then commits suicide

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NONG BUA LAM PHU, THAILAND - OCTOBER 06: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - "Ruamkatanyu Foundation / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) A screen grab captured from a video shows the site after a gunman opened fire at a childcare center in the upper northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu, killing at least 35 people, 24 of whom were children, on October 06, 2022 in Nong Bua Lam Phu, Thailand. (Ruamkatanyu Foundation - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 07, 2022 - 05:04 AM

ISTANBUL (AA) – The attacker of a mass shooting in Thailand on Thursday was a former policeman with a history of drug abuse, police said.

The former cop, 34, has been identified as Pol Corporal Panya Kamlarb, who carried out a gun and knife attack on a day-care center, killing 37 people, 22 of whom were children.

The deadly incident happened at around 12:50 p.m. (0550GMT) in the upper northeastern province of Nong Bua Lam Phu at a day-care home housed in the office of the Uthai Sawan Tambon Administration in Naklang district.

Twelve more people were injured and are being treated.

After the attack, he killed his wife and their child before committing suicide.

The deceased gunman was “apparently under the influence of drugs,” Pol Maj Gen Paisal Luesomboon told Thai public broadcaster PBS News.

“The gunman is a former policeman who was discharged last year on a charge of drug abuse,” he said.

The police officer said Kamlarb was “armed with a shotgun, a pistol and a knife.”

“Kamlarb opened fire, killing 23 people, most of them young children,” said Luesomboon, who is deputy commander of Region 4 Police of Thailand.

“The gunman also fired randomly at passers-by as he fled the nursery, killing another nine people,” he added.

Violence against children condemned

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) expressed grief over the fatal shooting incident, saying it is “saddened and shocked.”

“UNICEF condemns all forms of violence against children. No child should be a target or witness of violence anywhere, anytime,” the UN agency’s Thailand office said in a statement.

“Early childhood development centers, schools and all learning spaces must be safe havens for young children to learn, play and grow during their most critical years,” it added.

UNICEF suggested public and the media “refrain from posting or forwarding images and videos related to this violent incident, as this may further negatively impact children, victims’ families, and their loved ones.”

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