UPDATE: Elite forces storm Terminal 21, gunman holding hostages – VIDEO

PHOTO: Scoop Square 24

Following the shootings of innocent civilians by a Thai army sniper earlier this evening in Korat, north eastern Thailand, elite police and army forces of the Crime Suppression Division and Lop Buri-based Special Forces arrived at Terminal 21 shopping mall an hour ago. (Video of their arrival at Terminal 21 below)

The armed gunman is believed to be still be holed up in the Terminal 21 Shopping Mall with many shoppers trapped inside. Some are believed to be hostages. The gunman is armed with an HK military assault rifle. Police believe that he has a range of other weapons and ammunition he also stole from his army base. (Video of the gunman strolling around the corridors of Terminal 21 below)

At least 12 people are confirmed dead, including the gunman’s army commander, an elderly woman, a motorbike taxi driver and a student. Others are feared dead and many are injured. The situation is fluid.

The gunman has been identified as Sgt-Maj Jakrapanth Thomma, an officer attached to the Surathampitak army barracks in Nakhon Ratchasima.

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Jakrapanth allegedly shot his commander, 48 year old Colonel Ananrote Krasae, and a 63 year old woman Anong Mitchan, dead, kicking off his killing spree at around 5.30pm. He then shot and injured an army private at in a house in the provincial city district of Korat.

Police allege that a dispute erupted during a meeting over a debt issue, as a possible motive.

The gunman then stole an army Humvee 4-wheel drive and headed for the Terminal 21 shopping mall. He opened fire and shot people indiscriminately while driving. It’s understood he could have killed as many as 10 people as he was heading towards the Terminal 21 shopping centre.

The shooting then continued inside the mall. Police and army troops were deployed to secure the area, including a 2 kilometre perimeter around the mall. Television footage showed shoppers frantically running toward the exits as shots rang out. The gunman also ran a livestreamining event of his rampage on his Facebook page. The page was taken down around 7.20pm this evening.

Amongst a rambling stream of messages posted by the gunman… “No one escapes death.”

He then proceeded to diarise his exploits questioning the numbers of people he’d shot and asking questions…

“Should I surrender?”

Thai PM Prayut Chan-a-cha has been closely monitoring the incident as it unfolds and ordered health officials to provide emergency services “and take good care” of everyone affected by the incident.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

https://www.facebook.com/KhaosodEnglish/videos/761444547696561/

https://www.facebook.com/KhaosodEnglish/videos/3120462534640031/

UPDATE: Elite forces storm Terminal 21, gunman holding hostages - VIDEO | News by Thaiger UPDATE: Elite forces storm Terminal 21, gunman holding hostages - VIDEO | News by Thaiger

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