Thailand’s Bangkok mall shooting: 2 dead, suspect arrested at Siam Paragon

People flee after gunfire is heard inside popular shopping complex in central Bangkok.

An ambulance is seen outside Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok
An ambulance is seen outside Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok [Jack Taylor/AFP]

Police in Thailand say they have arrested a teenage suspected gunman after a deadly shooting at an upscale shopping centre in the capital, Bangkok.

Emergency services said on Tuesday evening that at least two people had been killed in the incident at Siam Paragon Mall, correcting an earlier statement that three people had died. It added six people had been wounded in total, five of those critically.

Major Thai media said the suspected gunman was 14 years old, though recently appointed police chief Torsak Sukvimol confirmed only that he is a minor and appeared to be suffering from mental illness.

There was no information yet on the motive of the attack.

Emergency services shared an image of a police officer apprehending and handcuffing an individual lying face down on the floor.

The Central Investigation Bureau had earlier posted a grainy image on its Facebook page of an individual they said was the gunman, dressed in khaki cargo pants and a baseball cap.

A police officer collects a gun following shots fired at the luxury Siam Paragon shopping mall, in Bangkok
A police officer collects a gun following shots fired at Siam Paragon shopping centre [Thai rescue workers association/Handout via Reuters]

Unverified videos on social media showed scenes of chaos, with people, including children, running out of the doors of the mall while security guards ushered them out.

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.

Chinese tourist Liu Shiying told The Associated Press news agency that she saw people running and saying someone had opened fire. She said she heard gunshots and an alarm ringing out and, that the lights in the mall went out.

“We’re temporarily hiding. Who dares to go out?” she said while taking cover. She was later able to leave.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed concern over the incident at the shopping centre, which is among the best-known in Bangkok and is popular with locals and tourists.

He told reporters that he was informed by police that one of the dead was a Chinese tourist.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased following the shooting inside Siam Paragon,” said Srettha, who took office in August. “I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured.”

Gun violence is not uncommon in Thailand, although mass shootings are rare.

A former 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.

Thai police officers secure Siam Paragon shopping centre
Thai police officers at Siam Paragon shopping centre [Jack Taylor/AFP]
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies