The soldier did it over a "personal problem", Thai premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said on Sunday. (Photo Credit: Representational Image)
A Thai soldier killed at least 27 people inside a mall in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima on Saturday before being shot dead by commandos. He did it over a "personal problem", Thai premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said Sunday. "It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens," he said outside a hospital where victims were sent after they were evacuated from the shopping mall where the 17-hour rampage took place.
The soldier was later killed at around 0200 GMT (7.30 AM IST), chief of the Crime Suppression Division Jirabhob Bhuridej told AFP. The health minister and police chief also confirmed the gunman's death. The soldier was killed at the shopping mall where he was holed up in the north-eastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima - also known as Korat.
"The police have killed the perpetrator and rescued eight hostages. Some were wounded," The Guardian reported quoting one of the security sources.
Earlier, police said they had "taken control" of the ground floor of the complex. Volleys of gunfire rang out before dawn, hours after Thai security services stormed the ground floor of the Terminal 21 mall in Nakhon Ratchasima - where the gunman - identified as Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma - held out, armed with assault weapons stolen from his barracks.
Scores of stunned and terrified shoppers fled the shopping centre as police entered the mall, escaping a bloody rampage that the gunman relayed via Facebook posts. The Facebook posts charted the attack from army barracks in the city to the mall.
The bloodshed began Saturday afternoon when Jakrapanth shot three people among them at least one soldier - at a senior officer's house and then at nearby army barracks, before driving an army vehicle to the town centre. There the gunman used weapons stolen from the military arsenal to bring carnage to a town centre.
In one Facebook video -- since deleted -- the assailant, wearing an army helmet, filmed from an open jeep saying, "I'm tired... I can't pull my finger anymore" and making a trigger symbol with his hand. There were also photos of a man in a ski mask holding up a pistol.
A Facebook spokesperson said "we have removed the gunman's accounts from our services and will work around the clock to remove any violating content related to this attack as soon as we become aware of it".