Steph Deschamps / October 8, 2022
In Thailand, heartbroken families are praying for the victims of a nursery massacre perpetrated by former police officer Panya Khamrab, after receiving support from their king.
The elderly monarch visited a hospital in Nong Bua Lamphu on Friday evening to treat those injured in one of the kingdom’s worst attacks, killing 36 people including 24 children.
On Saturday, families and relatives gathered at a Buddhist temple, marking the start of three days of funeral rituals.
Grief-stricken parents laid white roses, one by one, on the steps of the nursery.
Duenphen Srinamburi, the grandmother of one of the victims, described the attack. “The children were sleeping. He did not use a gun, only a knife. My grandson’s face was slashed from here to here,” she added, gesturing diagonally to his face.
“I still can’t accept what happened. Assailant, what is your heart made of?” wrote Seksan Srirach, the husband of a schoolteacher who was pregnant with their child and killed at the nursery, on Facebook.
The former police officer armed with a legally purchased 9mm pistol and a long knife killed 36 people, including 24 children, on Thursday in a deadly rampage that lasted about three hours and began at a Na Klang district nursery in the middle of the day.
The 34-year-old then drove off and knocked down passersby until he reached his home, police said. There he killed his wife and their son and then killed himself.
Prime Minister Prayut ordered an investigation into the massacre, and it emerged that Panya had been dismissed from the police force for drug abuse. Several people in the province told AFP that he was known to be addicted to methamphetamine.