A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after two people were killed in a shooting at a luxury shopping mall in the centre of Bangkok, police say.
Officers said a suspect was taken into custody less than an hour after the first reported gunshots at the Siam Paragon Mall, long been seen as one of Bangkok's biggest and most upscale shopping destinations.
National police chief Torsak Sukvimol said the teenager arrested had been receiving psychiatric treatment. Mr Torsak said two people had been killed, a visitor from China and a Myanmar national.
Earlier, Yutthana Sretthanan, director of Bangkok's Erawan Emergency Medical Center, had earlier said three people were killed and six were injured.
Witnesses described seeing crowds of people fleeing the mall after hearing what appeared to be gunfire.
The mall was placed into lockdown with all entrances closed, and police also suspended train services at a station near the mall.
Videos shared by shoppers online showed people streaming out of the shopping centre. In another clip, customers cower in shops as a series of loud bangs can be heard.
Chinese tourist Liu Shiying told the AP from inside the mall that she saw people running and saying someone had opened fire. She said an alarm rang out inside the mall, the lights went out and that she was still taking cover inside the mall. She said: “We’re temporarily hiding. Who dares to go out?”
Prime minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters he was aware of the incident and had instructed the Royal Thai Police commissioner to investigate and monitor the situation.
Police spokesperson Achayon Kraithong said the national police chief had dispatched officers to control the area. Television showed long queues of traffic outside the mall in torrential rain.
เวลา 17.06 น. เจ้าหน้าที่ตำรวจสามารถจับกุมคนร้ายได้พร้อมอาวุธปืน ขณะนี้อยู่ระหว่างตรวจสอบผู้เสียชีวิต และผู้บาดเจ็บ ขณะที่เจ้าหน้าที่อยู่ระหว่างเร่งเคลียร์สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
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The incident happened days before Thais were planning to mark the one-year anniversary on 6 October of a grisly gun and knife attack at a rural day care centre that killed 36 people, most of them nursery school children.
Gun violence is relatively common in Thailand. An ex-police officer killed 22 children in a nursery last year during a gun-and-knife rampage, while in 2020 a soldier shot and killed at least 29 people and wounded 57 in a rampage that spanned four locations in and around the northeastern Thai city of Nakhon Ratchasima.