Thailand Mass Taking pictures Victims Included Kids as Younger as 2

UTHAI SAWAN, Thailand—At a temple on this rural village in northeast Thailand on Friday, Saitharn Kotpanya cradled {a photograph} of her 4-year-old niece, whose huge brown eyes have been nonetheless open when the aunt noticed her physique.

Her niece was discovered alongside two of her nephews—a 4-year-old who additionally died and a 3-year-old who someway survived a blow to the top with a knife however stays in a coma.

All three have been victims of the southeast Asian nation’s deadliest mass killing on Thursday, when a former police officer killed 36 individuals, together with two dozen kids, earlier than turning his gun on himself.

Ms. Saitharn would watch her niece, Sasiprapa Prasertsuk, and two nephews, Papangkorn Wongmamee and the youthful Chanutchai Somparn, taking part in from the farm the place she harvested rice.

She remains to be attempting to know what occurred—how somebody may so brutally kill individuals, notably younger kids. Like many individuals on this tightknit, rural neighborhood, she mentioned she knew the killer, 34-year-old Panya Kamrab, and would by no means forgive him.

A girl prays at a temple in Uthai Sawan.



“How may he have carried out this to these kids?” she mentioned.

The our bodies of these killed Thursday have been ferried to 3 temples on this district for household and villagers to mourn. Thailand’s king despatched workers from the royal family to arrange meals for the grieving households and administer sacred rituals. Holy water from the palace was despatched to scrub the our bodies. Monks in orange robes led prayers.

The entire temples refused to take the physique of the killer, who had been fired as a police officer earlier this yr after being accused of drug possession, officers mentioned. On Saturday, a temple within the close by metropolis of Udon Thani agreed to take his stays and cremate them, native media reported.

The killer shot or hacked the kids to dying throughout their afternoon nap at a child-care heart on Thursday, police mentioned. A few of them nonetheless had traces of milk on their lips from a snack earlier than dozing off, members of the family of a few of the victims mentioned.

The lifeless embody the killer’s stepson, who was slain alongside his mom on the household dwelling. One other 11 adults, together with a pregnant trainer, died in a rampage police and residents of this small neighborhood 330 miles from Bangkok are struggling to grasp.

Authorities and navy officers visited Uthai Sawan Saturday to hitch in ceremonies.



A 69-year-old girl, Buasorn Saenkhum, was run down by the killer’s car exterior her own residence, which confronted the killer’s throughout a road nook. He had returned there in quest of his spouse and stepson after killing the kids on the college, based on the lady’s daughter, Namfon Saenkhum.

After pulling down Ms. Buasorn, he tried to reverse his car over her physique. Her father ran exterior and tried to drag his spouse away from the wheels. The killer pointed his pistol at him, however didn’t fireplace. She mentioned she wasn’t certain if the gun jammed or was out of ammunition, or if he hesitated as a result of he acknowledged her father, a retired trainer, who had taught the killer as a boy. A neighbor throughout the road shouted to intervene and was gunned down, she mentioned.

Ms. Namfon, who sells sugar cane from her plantation to close by factories, described her mom as a form and beneficiant girl who liked kids. She needed to break the information of her mom’s dying to her sister, who lives in Sweden.

She mentioned she is stuffed with unhappiness and sympathy for the opposite victims and their households. “We reside in the identical neighborhood. We share the identical feeling,” she mentioned. “Will probably be arduous to recover from it.”

Remembrances for victims have been positioned inside close to a coffin Saturday and out of doors on the road as funeral rites started in Uthai Sawan, Thailand. Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Getty Pictures

One of many lecturers who was killed on the child-care heart, Supaporn Pramongmook, was 26 years outdated and eight-months pregnant.

“She by no means swore or mentioned a foul phrase,” mentioned her aunt, Puthachart Srinamkam. She mentioned her niece accomplished a college diploma in accountancy two years in the past. Her commencement ceremony wasn’t held till this yr due to Covid-19. Regardless of her niece’s younger age, her aunt thought of her a mentor. She was such a sensible lady, she mentioned. Her niece had no different kids, having misplaced an earlier being pregnant in miscarriage.

Her niece’s colleague, trainer Maliwan Lasopha, was additionally killed. “It’s very arduous for me. My coronary heart is breaking as a result of I’ve just one daughter,” her 55-year-old mom, Mongkol Upachai, mentioned Friday as she gathered with different kin of the victims on the administration buildings close to the child-care heart to await a go to from Thailand’s prime minister.

After the taking pictures started, 19-year-old Panida Prawanna heard in regards to the gunfire from a buddy, however she thought it have to be taking place on the native administration workplace close to the child-care heart her son attended. She couldn’t think about it was taking place at her son’s college.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha made a conventional ‘wai’ after visiting households of the victims Friday.


Wason Wanichakorn/Related Press

When she arrived on the college, a trainer informed her that her son, Krissana Sola, was lifeless. The boy liked pizza and was at all times cheerful, she mentioned. His father had nicknamed him “Captain.” He was because of flip 3 in November.

“I cry all evening lengthy. I cry so much. I can’t sleep. He’s my first son,” mentioned Ms. Panida, who additionally has a child daughter

A grandmother of one of many victims, 4-year-old Chadayou Manuslip, was mourning at one of many temples Friday however couldn’t bear to go inside and see his stays. The boy’s father, her son, and the kid’s different grandmother made the formal identification contained in the temple. Each fainted on seeing his physique and needed to be carried exterior by kin, she mentioned.

Her grandson at all times made jokes and appreciated exhibiting off on stage, she mentioned. He most well-liked taking part in with ladies to taking part in with boys and liked classical Thai dancing. When she final spoke to her grandson two days earlier than he died, he informed her he wished a scooter and to stick with her for some time.

Officers and others packed the village as funeral rites started.


Sirachai Arunrugstichai/Getty Pictures

At one of many temples, Wat Sri Uthai, a silver casket holding the physique of Patrawatt Jamnongnit lay alongside these of 10 different victims. At its base was a toy dinosaur and plastic vans, toys he liked. Mourners left choices of juice and milk.

Patrawatt was 2 years and 10 months outdated when he died. He liked soccer, mentioned his grandfather Dusit Jamnongnit, 69, although given his younger age he hadn’t but picked a workforce to comply with. The boy was the person’s solely grandchild.

“I took care of him from when he was born,” he mentioned. The boy lived along with his father, a mechanic, and his grandfather. His mom works at an electronics manufacturing facility in Khon Kaen, round 90 miles away. He referred to as her to inform her Patrawatt had been killed, struck within the head with a knife usually used to chop down sugar cane.

“It’s very troublesome to recover from this,” he mentioned. “However everyone has to focus and maintain their thoughts sturdy. It would take a while…however we’ve got to get by this,” he mentioned.

Households in Thailand laid flowers at a child-care heart the place at the very least 36 individuals, together with 24 kids, have been killed throughout a mass taking pictures on Thursday. The gunman killed his spouse and little one earlier than taking his personal life, police mentioned. Picture: Manan Vatsyayana/Agence France-Presse/Getty Pictures

Write to Jason Douglas at and Wilawan Watcharasakwet at

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Rahul Diyashi
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