A mass shooting and stabbing spree at a daycare in Thailand has left 36 people dead — 23 of them were children, many sleeping during nap time at the centre.
Former policeman Panya Kamrab opened fire at the preschool daycare in the Uthai Sawan region of the Nong Bua Lamphu province on Thursday.
Kamrab fled the scene in a white Toyota pick-up truck after the shooting to kill his wife, two-year-old stepson, and finally himself at his own home, confirmed the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Thailand.
Just hours before the attack, Kamrab had attended court for a hearing in a case against him for selling drugs. According to the BBC, the 34-year-old had been fired from his job in June for drug use.
Kamrab’s stepson was enrolled in the daycare, but police say he wasn’t present at the time of the attack. The motive for the attack is unknown.
According to witnesses interviewed by Reuters, the shooter killed four or five workers at the daycare — one was reportedly eight months pregnant – before forcing open a locked door to the room where the children slept.
“At first people thought it was fireworks,” said a local official.
Survivors were taken to Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital, and blood donations flowed in within hours of the news of the attack.
They are being treated for their injuries.