Shooting at daycare facility shocks rural Thailand town


Ciara Whimbush

Dozens of families suffered the hardest burden any person could bear October 6, when former police officer Panya Khamrab entered the Childhood Development Center Uthaisawan in Thailand, and murdered 35 students and staff members in the facility. His killing spree ended in the murder-suicide of himself, his wife and his son. Currently, the motive behind Khamrab’s actions remains unspecified.

Ciara Whimbush, Reporter

October 6, the rural area of the Nong Bua Lamphu province in Thailand fell victim to a violent attack perpetrated by former police officer Panya Khamrab. The 34-year-old entered the Childhood Development Center Uthaisawan with a gun and a knife during the children’s naptime.

 Khamrab took the lives of two dozen children and then proceeded to murder staff members and a pregnant woman as well. He ended his rampage in the murder-suicide of his wife, their son and himself, with the total casualties of the violent attack reaching 38

“I was surprised to see a crime of such magnitude happen in such an unexpected area. It was also quite shocking and disturbing because it was at a nursery with many of the victims being small children,” magnet sophomore Maksymilian Bardwell said. 

The motive behind Khamrab’s malicious acts remains unknown. A spokesperson for the police force stated that the shooter appeared stressed when he could not find his son at the daycare. The former police officer lost his job in 2021 due to his utilization of drugs and went to court the week prior to the attack. 

This event stands as the deadliest mass shooting in Thailand’s history with the death toll surpassing that of another shooting at a mall in 2020, where 29 people lost their lives. The assailant, Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma committed the heinous killing spree which spanned over 17 hours. During the attack, he took to social media to live stream it, as well as to express his anger and frustration at the same time. Thomma later died from the result of a gunshot wound.  

Family members of the deceased joined together to mourn in the days following the daycare massacre, bearing toys and treats in memory of their loved ones. Friends and family members also laid white roses at the daycare center, as they held spiritual regard when it comes to death and symbolized the fallen

As of 2022, the number of civilians in Thailand that own a gun stands at 10.3 million. The country’s rate of gun ownership stays high, with every 100 people in a population possessing 15.1 guns. News outlets commented on the presence of guns in the country, as it could potentially augment the amount of gun violence. With large quantities of guns dispersed throughout the country, gun safety laws and conditions may soon come into question.

“I believe that this event and many others of this nature can be resolved through the regulation of lethal weapons. This may seem impossible but it can be done. The way that Australia has handled this issue is a good aspect to look at. I feel that at the very least there need to be some options discussed. Someone has to have an answer somewhere,” magnet sophomore Jack Brillinger said.