Childcare Center Mass Shooting Death Toll Rises to 37

Police outside Uthai Sawan childcare center in Nong Bua Lamphu province on Oct. 6, 2022.
Police outside Uthai Sawan childcare center in Nong Bua Lamphu province on Oct. 6, 2022.

NONG BUA LAMPHU — A 34-year-old former police officer opened fire Thursday at a childcare center in the northeastern province, killing at least 37 people, mostly children, police said.

Police identified the assailant as a former member of the force, Panya Kamrap, who was fired earlier this year of drug-related offenses. At least 37 people were killed in what appeared to be the country’s worst mass shooting in modern history, while another 12 people were wounded, according to the latest police report. The motive remains unclear.

Police said the man entered Uthai Sawan sub-district office in the afternoon and killed two people there. He then proceeded to the nearby childcare center and killed 22 children and two teachers before going on a rampage that left another 4 people dead. After arriving home, he set his car on fire, killed his wife and his children before turning the gun on himself.

Another five victims died at a hospital.


In a statement, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said he has instructed all relevant agencies to assist the victims and their families. The prime minister will travel to Nong Bua Lamphu province to meet with families of the victims on Friday.

“I would like to express my deepest sorrow and condolences to the families of the dead and injured,” Prayut said. “I have ordered the police commissioner to take immediate action and all the relevant agencies to alleviate those who are affected by this incident.”

National police commissioner Damrongsak Kittiprapat apologized on behalf of his force.


“We believe the assailant targeted the childcare center as it is near his home, though we still need to investigate the real motive,” Pol. Gen. Damrongsak said. “I would like to apologize for what happened and will take this incident as a lesson to improve our tactics and prevent it from happening again.”

The man had been facing trial on a drug charge and had been in court in the hours before the shooting, regional police spokesman Paisan Luesomboon said. He was due to stand trial for possession of methamphetamine on Friday.

Mass shooting is rare in Thailand. The country’s previous worst mass shooting involved a disgruntled soldier who opened fire in and around a mall in Nakhon Ratchasima province in 2020, killing 29 people and holding off security forces for hours before eventually being gunned down.