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Korat shooter video goes viral

Jack Burton



PHOTO: Kannikar Copland, the mother of Metha Lertsiri, holds his picture during his funeral in Udon Thani on Tuesday - Yuttapong Kumnodnae, Bangkok Post

A video, purportedly showing the soldier in last weekend’s mass shooting killing an army private before taking guns and ammunition from an armoury, has gone viral today. It comes after a week of editorials and public condemnation of the behaviour of netizens and media who shared gruesome images of the slaughter.

The three minute clip, the authenticity of which has not been confirmed, was reportedly obtained from rescue workers in in Nakhon Ratchasima. The shooter himself streamed much of the massacre as it happened. The Thaiger chooses not to share any of the video or stills.

The video appears to be a compilation. The first clip, which is without sound, shows a man resembling the gunman, Jakrapanth Thomma, armed with a shotgun and walking to the armoury of the Surathampitham military base. He can be seen talking to 23 year old Private Metha Lertsiri, who was guarding the site last Saturday afternoon when the massacre began. Metha walks into a nearby room and the soldier fires two shots into his back. The private falls to the ground. The soldier then fires shots at the lock of the door to the next room and opens it.

Metha was Jakrapanth’s fourth victim. He had already shot three people dead nearby before taking several weapons and ammunition from the armoury and beginning the rampage that cost the lives of another 25 people.

The second clip shows the cordoned-off scene at Wat Pa Sattharuam monastery and some of the spots where nine people were gunned down

News reports at the time said that after Jakrapanth took the guns, he stole a Humvee, but the army insists it was just a modified truck. He then went to the monastery and began randomly shooting passers-by, killing nine before driving to Terminal 21 shopping mall in downtown Nakhon Ratchasima.

The third video clip was taken in front of the mall at night. Gunfire can be heard from inside and rescue workers are seen carrying a woman and escorting a man to get medical help. Volleys of gunfire rang out before dawn on Sunday, hours before forces entered the ground floor of the mall where the gunman had holed up. Police commandos shot him dead around 9am, ending the rampage that lasted more than 17 hours.

The death of the Private Metha, a single father, left his four-year-old son orphaned. The army yesterday posthumously promoted him to the rank of sergeant for his dedication to duty.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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