Bangkok, Oct 5 (EFE).- Two people in southern Thailand have been arrested in connection to the Bangkok shopping mall shooting that killed two people this week, police said Friday.
The 14-year-old suspected gunman is detained following a shooting at the Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, 03 October 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/THE RESCUE FOUNDATION OF BANGKOK / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
A 14-year-old is suspected of using a blank-firing pistol modified to shoot live rounds during Tuesday’s attack.
The two new arrests were made in the southern Thai city of Yala, and authorities have issued a warrant for a third suspect thought to be in Bangkok, Yala Provincial Police Station Director Piyaphat Thongpanlertkul told EFE.
The police accuse them of illegal possession and modification of weapons and are investigating whether they sold the suspect the gun used during the mall attack.
According to the preliminary investigation, the suspect bought the weapon online for 16,000 baht ($430).
A handout photo made available by the Rescue Foundation of Bangkok shows a man injured in a shooting at the Siam Paragon shopping mall being taken to hospital by the Rescue Foundation, in Bangkok, Thailand, 03 October 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/THE RESCUE FOUNDATION OF BANGKOK / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
The teenager has been charged with five crimes, including premeditated murder and attempted murder and possession of a firearm without a permit.
On Tuesday afternoon shots rang out in the Thai capital’s downtown luxury Siam Paragon mall, one of the largest and busiest in the country, causing shoppers to sprint for the exits and hide inside stores.
A tourist from China and a Myanmar worker were killed, while three Thais, a Chinese and a Laotian were injured to varying degrees.
The suspect, who police revealed has a history of mental illness and had not been taking his medication, surrendered and was detained inside the mall.
Thailand, where there are more than 10 million weapons among a population of 71 million, witnessed a massacre in October last year in which a former police officer killed 36 people, including 24 children, and injured 10 others in the northeastern province of Nong Bua Lamphu.
In 2020, 29 people were killed and another 58 wounded by a soldier who opened fire in a shopping mall in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima.
These shootings have opened debate over increasing control of unlicensed weapons in Thailand. EFE