Thai mall gunman shot dead after deadly rampage

BANGKOK (AFP) – The Thai soldier who killed at least 20 people and holed up in a mall overnight was shot dead Sunday morning by commandos, ending a near-17-hour ordeal which left dozens wounded and stunned the country.

It was unclear how many people remained trapped inside the Terminal 21 mall in Nakhon Ratchasima — also known as Korat — where the gunman held out through the night, armed with assault weapons stolen from his barracks.

Thai Royal Police put out a wanted poster on their Facebook page for Army Sergeant Major Jakrapanth Thomma, wanted in connection to a deadly attack in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima (PHOTO: ROYALTHAIPOLICE/AFP)

Volleys of gunfire rang out as the siege ran into dawn, hours after Thai security services stormed the ground floor and freed scores of stunned, terrified shoppers from a bloody rampage that the gunman — a junior army officer identified as Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma — had relayed via Facebook posts.

“He was shot dead thirty minutes ago” (0200 GMT), chief of the Crime Suppression Division Jirabhob Bhuridej told AFP.

Commandos from elite Thai police units killed the gunman, a police spokesman added, after an operation involving hundreds of security personnel.