Colleagues reveal daycare killer prone to mood swings

Former colleagues of the daycare centre killer revealed Panya Khamrap had a long history of drug use, behavioural problems and bad mood swings and was not popular at work.

The 34 year old disgraced cop reportedly armed with a shotgun, pistol and meat cleaver murdered 37 people, including 24 children, butchered while they slept at the nursery in Nong Bua Lam Phu, along with an eight months pregnant woman. Only one child survived, a small boy named Sumaee, who had two bullets removed from his head. It is a miracle he lives.

Panya was dismissed from the Thai police force in January last year for failing a drug test. He had served as a police officer for 10 years. His superiors previously warned him over his casual drug use but he was eventually dismissed after being reportedly caught with pills containing meth.

The former police officer was not a popular character at work. His former colleagues said he was prone to mood swings and angry outbursts at work.

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According to a police investigation, a background check on the shooter showed he had a record of drug addiction and a violent temper. Fellow officers admitted they avoided him, He also assaulted a police officer who had attempted to chastise him.

One colleague made known that he pulled a gun on a bank manager who woke him as he slept outside of the bank he was supposed to be protecting.

Another colleague added he constantly clashed with his wife over his affairs. Panya also confronted neighbours for allegedly being too noisy, and one time he shot another neighbours’s dog.

A witness, 31 year old Paweena Purichan, said the murderer was a well-known drug addict. She said that she encountered Panya driving erratically as he fled the scene yesterday.

“The attacker rammed a motorbike into two people who were injured. I sped off to get away from him. There was blood everywhere.”

At the time of publication, it is unsure whether he was estranged from his wife and child as staff reported that his three year old son had not attended the nursery for about a month.

Police spokesman Paisan Luesomboon reported he quickly became agitated when he discovered his child was not at the nursery.

“He was already stressed and when he couldn’t find his child, he was more stressed and started shooting.”

A member of the daycare centre staff was confronted by the cold-blooded killer as he loaded his pistol. The unnamed woman said she heard gunshots before her face-to-face meeting. The frantic woman pleaded for her life as he pointed a gun at her head.

“I knew it was a gun because I heard multiple gunshots, and then I saw him put in the bullets and point the gun at me.

“I called a teacher, and the teacher was hugging the child. He kicked the mirror and I climbed the walls and called for help.

“He was inside the child centre for a long time. He used a knife and cut all the kids’ heads. He was carrying a small gun.

“I didn’t know he was going to kill the kids. I thought he was gonna come out but he stayed inside a long time. He used a knife and stabbed all the kids.

“He also stabbed a pregnant teacher. Only a few months until she gives birth. He stabbed my staff. That’s all I know.”

Colleagues reveal daycare killer prone to mood swings | News by Thaiger


Panya left the carnage behind and fled the scene in a white Toyota pick-up truck toward the home of his wife and child. It is reported he killed his wife and child at home and set fire to the property. Another three adults were found dead inside the house.

It is the deadliest mass killing in Thailand’s history.

There have been two similar mass shootings but they involved soldiers.

In 2021 a soldier killed 21 people and injured dozens more in Nakhon Ratchasima.

A year earlier, in 2020, a soldier shot 29 people and wounded dozens of others before he was shot dead by commandos.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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