A PROMINENT academic said today (Oct. 7) that the massacre at a child care centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province yesterday that left 38 small children and adults dead and 10 others injured was not just due the former policeman being addicted to a drug but also stemmed from problems in the Thai military and police systems, Matichon newspaper said.
National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas said aside from the 38 children and adults killed, 10 were injured with six being in serious condition.
The gunman, Pol. Lt. Col. Panya Khamrab. a former police officer who served at Na Wang police station in this province, had purchased the 9mm pistol and knife used in the massacre with his own funds.
He was dismissed from his duty in January this year before being sacked after being found with drugs in his possession and was to appear in court yesterday.
Pol. Gen. Damrongsak said no cause had been ruled out including the gunman being stressed and high on drugs with a blood test being undertaken, and other issues as well.
However Thammasat University law lecturer Prinya Thaewanarumitkul said on his Facebook page today that while mass killings of the general public and students had occurred several times in the US but as far as he knew government officials did not carry them out.
However in Thailand soldiers and policemen had carried out killings.
While a policeman carried out the mass killing in Nong Bua Lamphu yesterday, two years ago a soldier did so. Yet yesterday’s massacre was more tragic because small children were killed.
That the past two mass killings in Thailand involved a soldier and a policeman would not just point to stress and drug addiction, he said, adding that there are probably problems in the Thai military and police systems that need to be addressed.
What people want to hear from the government is how it is going to prevent something like this from occurring again. The police force too has to ensure that policemen carrying firearms do not use them to kill people, particularly children, again.
Meanwhile Their Majesties the King and Queen will be visiting Nong Bua Lamphu this afternoon with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha being on hand to receive them.
They will be visiting those injured in the mass killing and offering condolences to the families of those who died in this tragedy.
Top: Thammasat University law lecturer Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, left, and policemen at the scene of the mass killing, right.
Front Page: The child care centre building. Both photos: Matichon