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Bangkok: A 14-year-old boy has been arrested after a shooting at a luxury shopping centre in Bangkok left three people dead, Thai police and emergency services said on Tuesday.
Six people were reported injured in the attack at the Siam Paragon mall and the Metropolitan Police Detective Department said on its Facebook page that the suspected gunman had been arrested and was being questioned over the incident.
People leave the shopping centre after shots were fired.Credit: Getty Images
Chaos erupted after reports of gunfire in the late afternoon approaching peak shopping hours at the mall, among the city’s most popular shopping and leisure venues and a draw for foreign tourists.
Police spokesman Archayon Kraithong told reporters the situation was under control.
Hundreds of people, including children, were earlier seen pouring out of the mall in Bangkok’s commercial heart into torrential rain, according to videos on social media verified by Reuters.
“It happened in just a few minutes. We saw all the people run, run, run, we didn’t understand what was happening,” said 26-year-old Shir Yahav from Israel, who was at a designer store at the time of the shooting.
“We went with them and then we heard several shots, like six or seven shots. We blocked the door of the store.”
Ambulances wait outside a mall in Bangkok, the scene of a fatal shooting.Credit: AP
Tuesday’s shooting prompted authorities to shut access to the nearby Siam elevated train stop, preventing commuters from exiting the transit station as the evening peak hour began and intense rain pounded the city.
Emergency services shared an image of a police officer apprehending and handcuffing an individual laying face down on the floor.
The Nation Thailand posted a video on X (formerly known as Twitter) saying it showed the moment the shooter was arrested.
One of the videos showed people taking cover in a darkened room inside a restaurant, while live television showed long queues of traffic outside the mall in torrential rain.
Siam Paragon is Thailand’s most famous mall, drawing large numbers of people with its high-end stores, aquarium, movie theatre and hugely popular food court dining.
In 2013, it was named the world’s most photographed place by Instagram.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed concern over the incident.
“I am aware of the shooting event at Siam Paragon … I am most worried about public safety,” he posted on X social media.
Tourists evacuate from the shopping centre.Credit: AP
A large number of people milled around the streets outside and on elevated walkways after the incident, which took place in a bustling commercial zone that connects with an elevated rail network and a series of other malls.
Susinee, a 35-year-old restaurant worker, said she and her colleagues bolted out of their Japanese ramen outlet when they heard gunshots.
“We just ran out,” she said, standing with half a dozen of her colleagues.
The mall said it had evacuated shoppers and staff immediately, stressing safety was of the utmost importance.
“Siam Paragon would like to express our deep apologies for the unexpected event,” it said in a statement.
“Authorities have been able to control the situation and arrest the culprit.”
Gun violence is not uncommon in Thailand. An ex-police officer killed 22 children in a nursery last year during a gun-and-knife attack, 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.
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