A Thai soldier killed two people and wounded another in a shooting at a military facility in Bangkok on Wednesday, police and army officials said.
Sergeant Major Yongjut Mungkornkim, a clerk at the Royal Thai Army War College, shot and killed three other soldiers around 8:45 a.m. (01:45 GMT), the military said in a statement.
The 59-year-old man tried to flee the scene but surrendered around 10 a.m., National Police Deputy Spokesman Kisana Ptanacharoen told reporters.
“The army expresses its condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and the wounded. This incident is a loss to both the families and the organization. This is something that was not expected,” Deputy Army Spokesperson Senior Colonel Sirichan Nga-Thong said in a statement.
“The cause and motivation of the incident are being investigated.”
After the shooting, police and military personnel guarded the gates of the facility, which is part of a large complex of military buildings in the north of the capital.
The military in a statement named Sergeant Major Noparat Intasunthorn and Sergeant Major Prakarn Sinsong as victims.
A third soldier, Senior Sergeant Yongjut Panyanuwat, was taken to hospital for treatment, the military added.
Acting Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters that police were investigating, but it was too early to say the shooter’s motive.
Another senior army officer, Major General Burin Thongprapai, told reporters that the suspect was believed to be suffering from mental health problems after undergoing brain surgery following a motorcycle accident.
A Kisan police spokesman said that since the suspect is an active soldier, the case will be handled by a military court.
Although Thailand has a high rate of gun ownership, mass shootings are extremely rare.
But there were at least two other cases of killings by serving soldiers last year, the Bangkok Post reported.
And in 2020, in one of the deadliest incidents in the kingdom in recent years, a soldier killed 29 people in a 17-hour standoff and injured scores more before a commando was shot dead.
The mass shooting that rocked Thailand was linked to a debt dispute between Sergeant-at-Arms Jakrapant Thomma and a senior officer, and the military has struggled to portray the killer as a rogue soldier.
The military has a strong influence on many aspects of life in Thailand, from politics to business, and has intervened numerous times over the decades to seize power, most recently in 2014.
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