A Thai police officer arrests a young man suspected of shooting dead three people and injuring four others Tuesday in a gun rampage at the country's most famous mall in downtown Bangkok. Photo courtesy Thai Central Investigation Bureau
Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Three people were killed and four were injured after a gunman went on a shooting rampage Tuesday at an upscale shopping mall in the center of Bangkok, medical authorities said.
The alleged shooter, a 14-year-old boy, was arrested at a nearby hotel after opening fire at about 4:20 p.m. local time inside the Siam Paragon mall sending hundreds of people fleeing into Rama Road in the city's Pathum Wan district.
The gunman fired in excess of 10 rounds, according to witnesses.
Casualty numbers were confirmed by Bangkok Emergency Medical Centre director Yuthana Srettanan. Three of the four people hurt, including at least one non-Thai, were being treated at the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital while the fourth was admitted to the Police General Hospital.
"The attacker was arrested. In fact, he surrendered. The situation is now easing," Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters.
CCTV footage circulating on social media shows the alleged shooter kneeling as he appears to surrender before police smash through a glass panel, pin down the suspect and arrest him.
Police, who recovered a pistol-type hand gun from the scene, said they were questioning the alleged shooter.
"It happened in just a few minutes. We saw all the people run, run, run, we didn't understand what was happening," Channel News Agency quoted Israeli visitor Shir Yahav as saying.
With more than 4 million square feet of space, the showcase Siam Paragon mall is a major draw among Thais and visitors offering designer shops, an aquarium, movie theater and food court dining.
The mall said it evacuated shoppers and staff immediately and that safety and security were always its uppermost concern.
"Siam Paragon would like to express our deep apologies for the unexpected event," it said in a statement.
Tuesday's shooting rampage comes days before the anniversary of the mass murder of 24 children and 12 adults by a knife and gun-wielding ex-police officer Oct. 6, 2022, in Nong Bua Lamphu province in the north east of the country. The shooter escaped but killed himself and his family as the police closed in.
A former army officer murdered 29 people and injured scores of others in 2020 in a shooting rampage at a shopping mall in the northeastern city of Korat. He was shot dead by police.