Mass murder at child care centre

Former Pol Cpl Panya Khamrab
Former Pol Cpl Panya Khamrab

Thirty-seven people were killed, including 24 children, by a former policeman with a gun and a knife who barged into a child development centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu on Thursday afternoon.

Another 10 were injured in the attack by Panya Khamrab, a former police corporal who had been discharged from the force for drug abuse, police said.

The death toll of 38 includes the killer, who took his own life after killing his wife and their 3-year-old son.

According to police, 24 of those killed in the rampage at the centre were children, after former Pol Sgt Panya Khamrab burst into the childcare facility operated by the Uthai Sawan tambon administrative organisation in Na Klang district.

The shooting at the childcare facility operated by the Uthai Sawan tambon administrative organisation in Na Klang district began around 12.10pm.

The gunman’s exact motive remains a mystery. Police said Panya, 34, had been expelled from the force on June 15 for possession of methamphetamine pills.

Panya fled the scene in his pickup truck after the carnage. He later shot himself, his wife and child inside his house while surrounded by police.

Police said the mother of the gunman had told him her son had gone to court to attend a hearing on his drug case on Thursday morning.

After leaving the court, he appeared stressed, took some drugs and started to feel paranoid, police quoted the mother as saying.

The attacker then went to the childcare centre where he appeared to become agitated when he could not find his child. He opened fire on some staff having lunch outside the centre, killing four of them, and then went inside where he fired more shots.

According to police, after the shooting the gunman drove his pickup to his home five kilometres away, running into other people’s vehicles along the way.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha ordered the national police chief to “fast-track an investigation” and said he would travel to the scene of the attack on Friday.

“This should not happen. This absolutely should not happen,” Gen Prayut told reporters

Thursday’s rampage was the worst mass shooting in the country since a soldier opened fire at the Terminal 21 shopping mall and other locations in Nakhon Ratchasima on Feb 8, 2020. He killed 29 people and wounded 58 others before being shot dead by police 18 hours after the incident began.


  • agitated (adj): anxious and nervous - ปั่นป่วน, กระวนกระวายใจ, ตื่นเต้น
  • carnage: a situation in which there is a lot of death and destruction - การฆ่าอย่างโหดร้าย
  • child care centre: a place that takes care of children for their parents when they are at work or doing other things; daycare center -
  • discharge: to make somebody leave a job -
  • donations (noun): money or goods that you give to an organisation, especially one that helps people - เงินหรือสิ่งของบริจาค
  • expelled: to force someone to leave a school, organisation or country (the noun form is expulsion) - ขับไล่,ไล่ออก
  • fast-track (verb): to do something quickly, especially faster than would normally be done -
  • former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน
  • motive: a reason for doing something - แรงจูงใจ
  • on the run: running away from something , such as the police -
  • opened fire: started shooting at something with guns -
  • paranoid: worrying that people do not like you and are trying to harm you, although you have no proof of this - โรคจิตเภทแบบหวาดระแวง
  • possession: having or owning something - การครอบครอง
  • rampage (noun): a sudden period of wild and violent behaviour, often causing damage and destruction - การอาละวาด,ความวุ่นวาย,ความโมโห,การวิ่งพล่าน
  • stressed: affected by pressure, worry, etc. - วิตกกังวล
  • suicide: the action of deliberately killing yourself - การฆ่าตัวตาย
  • victims : people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc. - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
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