Paragon shooter admitted to psychiatric hospital

Paragon shooter admitted to psychiatric hospital

Justice minister assures teen will face legal procedures and victims will be compensated

A security guard checks a visitor’s bag at one of the entrances to Siam Paragon on Thursday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A security guard checks a visitor’s bag at one of the entrances to Siam Paragon on Thursday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The 14-year-old boy who opened fire inside Siam Paragon on Tuesday has been admitted to the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute for psychiatric treatment on doctors’ advice, Justice Minister Tawee Sodsong said on Friday.

Officials from the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection have been assigned to keep the boy under observation at the hospital and try to establish what motivated him to commit the crime.

Following the shooting that killed two people in the shopping mall and injured five others, the boy surrendered to police, who said he appeared confused and incoherent. He is facing five charges, including murder and attempted murder.

The Central Juvenile and Family Court on Wednesday ordered him detained at the Juvenile Observation and Protection Centre. It rejected a request that he be admitted to the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute until a preliminary assessment determined whether he had a condition requiring specialised treatment.

The minister declined to reveal the boy’s health condition, citing patient confidentiality regulations. He said only that the court did not allow the boy’s release on bail.

Dissemination of the boy’s pictures is also not allowed as it is a violation of his rights, he said.

However, Pol Col Tawee stressed that the youth would have to undergo all legal procedures, and people affected by the incident would be compensated according to the law.

“The Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection will take part in the investigation of the boy’s parents, relatives and close associates to find the real motive,” he said.

“Moreover, the government will look into the laws governing legal action against juveniles less than 15 years old to see where the laws should be amended to properly cope with current social conditions.”

Shooting range activity confirmed

In a related development, the Royal Thai Army confirmed that the boy had shown up at a shooting range of its Territorial Defense Command, as seen in a video that was widely shared on social media.

The range is open to promote shooting as a sporting activity among members and interested members of the public, the army public relations department said.

Members are allowed to bring outsiders to the range on the condition that they strictly comply with the rules and regulations.

Since the boy was not a member, it was assumed that he was taken to the range by some members, the army spokesperson said.

Compensation payments

In another development, Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, the minister of tourism and sports, said on Friday that the government would provide 1.2 million baht to the families of each dead victim. Siam Paragon is providing another 5 million baht to the families of each dead victim, bringing the total to 6.2 million baht.

Each person injured will receive 50,000 baht from the government and 300,000 baht from the mall operator, said Ms Sudawan.

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