The government urgently responds to the mass shooting incident on Tuesday afternoon, October 3, 2023, in which a 14-year-old boy opened fire in the Siam Paragon Department Store, killing two people and injured five more.
There were Chinese tourists killed and injured, which could have an impact on Thailand’s tourism when the visa exemption for Chinese travellers only recently began.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin arrived at Siam Paragon Department Store at 7:20 p.m. for an update on the situation from National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Torsak Sukwimon. At 8:00 p.m., he visited the injuries at the Police Hospital and the Chulalongkorn Hospital.
Srettha expressed his condolences for this loss to the relatives of the deceased, injured and all those affected, including the families of a Chinese tourist who died and one injured through talking with Mr. Han Zhiqiang, Chinese Ambassador to Thailand about at 8:30 p.m.
He mentioned that the ambassador was grateful that His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen received all the injured under royal care. He also thanked the work of all Thai officials who took immediate action, but the Chinese Embassy asked the government to show security measures so that the embassy can help communicate news to the people so that they understand the issue and that travel and tourism are not harmed.
The Prime Minister stated that he immediately directed all relevant agencies, including the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Health, and the police, to investigate the causes of such instances and developed preventative measures. The Thai government will now implement the strictest safety measures to ensure the safety of all travellers.
He additionally said that the female Chinese tourist who died and one who was injured were travelling with two other individuals. The other two could not be found at first, until the assistant consul of China in Thailand notified him that they were both safe.
The shocking incident started at 4.40 p.m. on the M, second and third floor of the mall and concluded at 5:09 p.m. when the gunman dropped his weapon and kneeled. He was detained by police on the third floor of the Siam Campinski Hotel nearby.
According to the investigation, police uncovered five rounds of ammunition of various calibres, 15 bullet casings of varied sizes, one silver pistol imitation, one black imitation mega-gun, and a shooting target paper in the teenage gunman’s residence.
The juvenile suspect was placed in isolation and cared for in accordance with youth rights. He is closely monitored by both doctors and psychiatrists, after he told the police that he had heard someone command him to shoot.
Siam Paragon issued a statement saying: we extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. We also would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the police, volunteers, and our security team for their dedicated efforts in bringing the situation under control and to everyone for their support during this difficult time.
While the Essence, an expensive private school, in which the 14-year-old gunman is enrolled issued a statement Tuesday night expressing condolences to those killed and injured and their families but also asks the public to respect the privacy of the family of the gunman.