A former Thai police officer took the lives of 34 people, including 23 children, at a daycare center in Uthai Sawan on Thursday.
According to CNN, the killer has been identified as Panya Kamrab, a 34-year-old former police officer who was fired from his job over drug allegations last year.
Reuters reports that Kamrab arrived at the Child Development Center in the Uthaisawan Na Klang district of the Nong Bua Lamphu province around lunchtime and shot and killed four to five school officials before forcing his way into a locked room where children were sleeping. He then stabbed many of the children and several teachers to death, including one teacher who was eight months pregnant.
Kamrab had reportedly been in court on drug charges earlier in the day and then went to the daycare center to pick up his child. When he discovered his child was not there, he went on the rampage.
"He started shooting, slashing, killing children at the Uthai Sawan daycare centre," police spokesperson Paisal Luesomboon said in a statement.
"It's a scene that nobody wants to see. From the first step when I went in, it felt harrowing," emergency worker and first responder team leader Piyalak Kingkaew told Reuters.
"We've been through it before, but this incident is most harrowing because they are little kids."
According to police, Kamrab used a knife and a legally obtained 9 mm pistol to carry out the attack.
After killing dozens at the daycare center, Kamrab fled the scene and returned to his home, where he shot and killed his wife and 2-year-old stepson before turning the gun on himself, CNN reports.
"Then he got out and started killing anyone he met along the way with a gun or the knife until he got home. We surrounded his house and then found that he committed suicide in his home," Damrongsak Kittiprapas told reporters.
This killing spree is among the worst child massacres by a single killer in recent history.
Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha will travel to the province on Friday to meet with the victim’s families.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Stringer
Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.