People accused the officers of being slow in their response and the rescue efforts for those trapped inside. Some individuals highlighted the close proximity of the RTP headquarters, a mere 500 meters from the shooting scene.
RTP officials clarified that their headquarters was not equipped with the necessary special operations team required for such emergencies.
The criticism extended beyond the Thai community, as the foreign survivor of the shooting shared his ordeal with ThaiRath in an interview. The man also agreed with Thai netizens that the police were slow to act.
“I think the response was very slow. You see those ambulances behind us, they probably just got here. It took them about an hour and a half or two hours to get here. So, I don’t think it was that fast, I don’t think they were well prepared for this at all.”
The Indian man said he was visiting the shopping centre with his wife and baby. While they were inside, they heard several gunshots and people started running all over the place. Everyone was scared.
The man added that there was a lot of chaos and it was almost like a stampede. Police later cleared people out of the mall 45 minutes after the shooting, according to the foreign man.
He revealed that he and his family were in the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop and they later walked out of the shop to the nearby mall, Siam Centre.
The foreign man stressed that he was frightened and confused at the same time because he did not know what had happened.
“In the beginning, it was a quite shocking experience. It was quite frightening. At the same time, I was not sure exactly what was going on. Was it someone playing a joke with some firecrackers or were there some shots?”
South Korean tourist
Another eyewitness, a South Korean tourist, shared her perspective. She explained that she was outside the mall when the shots were fired.
She saw more and more people leaving the mall who told her to run away. She was confused as to why she had to do this. Some Thai people informed her that there was a terrorist attack going on.
A Thai man later helped her by taking her to a safe place in the Siam Centre mall, which is opposite the shooting scene.
She said the doors to the mall were locked and people were trapped inside. They tried to hide in the mall. She was with some Thai girls who were crying in fear.
The South Korean woman revealed that the mall staff later opened the door and everyone came out very slowly and silently.
Eye contact with gunman
A Thai employee working in a designer brand store during the shooting told Thai media that he made eye contact with the 14 year old gunman as he tried to lock the front door of the store.
The man said the staff and some customers hid inside the store while he ran to the front door to lock it. However, the gunman reached the front of the store weapon in hand, ready to shoot. The man said he looked at the teenager for a few seconds and immediately ran to the back of the store.
The man also shared footage of the moment with the media. The Thai man was seen walking to the front door and tried to lock it. He noticed the gunman approaching the shop and quickly returned to his hiding place.
Thai netizens speculated that the gunman had not chosen his target at random. He mostly overlooked the men and focused only on women. Almost all of the victims are women, except a security guard at the mall.
— ไข่ดาวกรอบ🥚 (@miminiemi) October 3, 2023
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