Nakhon Ratchasima shootings

Between 8 and 9 February 2020, a mass shooting occurred near and in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, colloquially known as Korat. A soldier of the Royal Thai Army killed 29 people and wounded 58 others before he was eventually shot and killed.[6]

Nakhon Ratchasima shootings
Locations of Suratham Phithak Military Camp (1), Wat Pa Sattha Ruam (2) and Terminal 21 Korat (3), in Nakhon Ratchasima Province
LocationNakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand
Date8–9 February 2020
15:30 – 09:13 (ICT; UTC+07:00)
Attack type
Hostage-taking, mass shooting, spree killing
Deaths30 (including the perpetrator)[1][2][3]
PerpetratorJakrapanth Thomma
MotiveBusiness conflict between perpetrator and his commander[5]

The attack began when the perpetrator shot and killed his commanding officer and two others at Suratham Phithak Military Camp (ค่ายสุรธรรมพิทักษ์), the base where he was stationed. The perpetrator then stole military weapons and a Humvee and drove to the Terminal 21 Korat shopping mall, which had a large number of shoppers due to the public holiday Magha Puja, where he opened fire on shoppers. On the way, he also fired at several people on the road and at Wat Pa Sattha Ruam, a Buddhist temple.[7] During the attack, the perpetrator posted updates and shared a live stream on his Facebook account.[8] It was the deadliest mass shooting in Thailand's history,[9][10] before being surpassed by the 2022 Nong Bua Lamphu massacre.

Shootings edit

House and Suratham Phithak Military Camp edit

The shooting began at about 15:30 local time on 8 February 2020 at a house, where the gunman arrived to discuss a property dispute with his commander, Colonel Anantharot Krasae. The gunman confronted him, stole his weapon and shot him dead. He then shot and killed the commander's mother-in-law.[11]

Afterwards, the gunman went to the Suratham Phithak army base where he worked and raided the camp, stealing from a guard post and the camp armories two Type 11 assault rifles (a variant of the HK33), an M60 machine gun as well as 776 rounds of ammunition,[12] killing a soldier in the process. He then stole a Humvee and wounded the driver. The gunman escaped the base and opened fire on two police officers and two civilians, wounding them. The officers sustained multiple gunshot wounds in their legs and backs.[6]

Buddhist temple and Terminal 21 Korat shopping mall edit

After escaping, the gunman started shooting in the street: he stopped outside Wat Pa Sattha Ruam, a Buddhist temple, and killed eight civilians and a police officer.[6] He then arrived at the Terminal 21 Korat shopping mall in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima. At that point he left the vehicle and began shooting indiscriminately at people outside the mall, killing 12 civilians, before detonating a gas cylinder. He then entered the mall, killing two people and taking sixteen hostages inside the mall on the fourth floor. The gunman live streamed on Facebook Live during the siege and shared photos and memes on his profile page, although his account was eventually taken down by Facebook.[6][8][13]

Police officers and soldiers stormed the mall and demanded the gunman's surrender, to which he responded by opening fire, killing two policemen and a soldier and wounding at least three others. He remained inside for several hours, during which his mother was brought by authorities to try to convince him to surrender.[14]

On 9 February, at 09:13 local time, police announced that they had shot and killed the gunman.[15]

Perpetrator edit

Sergeant Major 1st Class Jakrapanth Thomma (จักรพันธ์ ถมมา, RTGSChakkraphan Thomma; 4 April 1988 – 9 February 2020), age 31, was identified as the gunman. His hometown was Kaeng Khro, located in Chaiyaphum Province. He was stationed at the Suratham Phithak Military Base, where the first shooting took place. Thomma previously received training as a non-commissioned officer and was an expert marksman.[16]

Thomma's acquaintances said he was upset over being allegedly cheated out of a property deal and not being given back his money by his commanding officer, Colonel Anantharot Krasae, and Krasae's mother-in-law, who were both shot dead. During the livestream of the shooting, Thomma shouted, "Rich from cheating and taking advantage of people ... Do they think they can take money to spend in hell?"[11]

Aftermath edit

Social media use edit

The perpetrator posted on social media during his attack, asking on Facebook if he should surrender. He had previously posted a picture of a pistol and bullets, captioned "It is time to get excited," and "Nobody can avoid death." Facebook responded by removing the page and issuing a statement condemning the attack.[17]

Criticism of media coverage edit

The events of the shooting were initially covered as live broadcasts near the scene by Thai broadcasters, which received public and governmental criticism for possibly providing the gunman with information about the movements of authorities intervening at the scene. Thailand's broadcast regulator, the NBTC, have called a meeting with representatives of television stations for discussion of their live broadcasts of the siege. NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tanthasit stated he ordered all TV stations to stop live broadcasting the situation and any other information that could have impeded the actions of authorities from intervening, and had issued warnings that were ignored by some stations, which he implied will lead to disciplinary action.[18][19] The hashtags #แบนช่องone ("Ban Channel One"), #แบนไทยรัฐ ("Ban Thai Rath") and #สื่อไร้จรรยาบรรณ ("Media without ethics") trended on Twitter in Thailand in response to the media's live coverage.[20]

Criticism of military and government edit

In the aftermath, the military co-run government was a target of anger, with the hashtags "Reform the Military" and "Prayuth RIP" trending on Twitter. In particular, it was criticized for being unable to prevent one of its own soldiers from easily stealing weapons and committing the shootings, contrasting with its strong control of politics and the economy. In January 2020, General Apirat Kongsompong lauded new laws intended to make it more difficult for ill-intentioned people to steal weapons from the military.[21]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "ผู้ว่าฯ สกลนคร เป็นประธานในพิธีพระราชทานเพลิงศพนายอุทัย ขันอาสา ซึ่งเสียชีวิตจากเหตุกราดยิงที่โคราช" [The governor of Sakon Nakhon presided over the cremation ceremony of Uthai Khanasa, who died in the Korat shooting.] (in Thai). Thai News. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  2. ^ "อาลัย 'อุทัย ขันอาสา' รปภ.เหยื่อกราดยิงโคราชเสียชีวิตแล้ว หลังยื้อชีวิตนาน 6 เดือน" [Lamented 'Uthai Khanasa' Security Guard, the victim of Korat shooting was dead. After 6 months] (in Thai). Channel 3 Thailand News. 23 August 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  3. ^ "FINAL MOMENTS OF KORAT SHOOTING VICTIMS SHOW A PATTERN OF SACRIFICE". Khaosod. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  4. ^ "สูญเสีย! ผู้เสียชีวิตจากเหตุกราดยิงโคราชเพิ่มเป็น 30 คน" [Loss! Death toll of Korat shooting rampage rises to 30]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Korat carnage death toll 27; perpetrator had conflict with his commander : PM". The Nation Thailand. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d "One gunman, four locations, 29 dead: how the mass shooting in Thailand unfolded". Reuters. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Thai commandos kill rogue soldier who shot dead 26 people". Al Jazeera. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Thailand shooting: Soldier who killed 26 in Korat shot dead". BBC News. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Thailand Mass Shooting". Solace Global. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  10. ^ Lalit, Sakchai; Vejpongsa, Tassanee (8 February 2020). "Thai army sergeant who killed at least 26 shot dead in mall, officials say". USA Today. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  11. ^ a b Paddock, Richard C.; Suhartono, Muktita; Jirenuwat, Ryn (10 February 2020). "Thai Soldier in Mass Shooting Had Business Clash With His Commander". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  12. ^ "ทบ. แจง คนร้ายกราดยิงโคราช ขโมยอาวุธปืน HK11 - M60 และกระสุน 776 นัด". Krungthep Turakij (in Thai). 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Mass shooter killed at Korat mall, 27 dead". Bangkok Post. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  14. ^ Sumon, Nat; van Hagen, Isobel (8 February 2020). "Thai soldier dead after killing at least 29 in shooting rampage". NBC News. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  15. ^ "ด่วน! วิสามัญฆาตกรรมมือกราดยิงโคราช เสียชีวิต 20 คน" [Breaking! Korat gunman shot dead, 20 killed]. Thai PBS (in Thai). 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  16. ^ "เปิดประวัติเหี้ยม!! "จ.ส.อ.จักรพันธ์" ปูมหลังคลั่งกราดยิง พื้นเพคนชัยภูมิ เรียนนายสิบ แม่นปืน!!" [Background of ruthless mass shooter "Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth" revealed!! Chaiyaphum native, received army training, sharpshooter!!]. Khaosod (in Thai). 8 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  17. ^ "Thailand shooting: Soldier kills 21 in gun rampage". BBC News. 9 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  18. ^ Chia, Jasmine (9 February 2020). "How social and mainstream media failed us during the Korat mass shooting". Thai Enquirer. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Thailand's broadcast regulator to meet with TV stations over siege coverage". Thai PBS World. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  20. ^ "โซเชียลวิจารณ์ 'สื่อ' กรณีกราดยิงโคราช ผุด Hashtag #แบนช่องone ขึ้นเทรนด์ Twitter". Techsauce (in Thai). Archived from the original on 11 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  21. ^ Head, Jonathan (12 February 2020). "Thailand struggles to come to terms with first mass shooting". BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2020.