BANGKOK • A masked gunman walked into a shopping mall in central Thailand and opened fire - killing three people, including a two-year-old - robbed a gold shop and then escaped, the police said yesterday.
Closed-circuit television footage from the Robinson mall in Lopburi province, about 145km north of Bangkok, shows the man carrying a pistol with a long silencer approaching a counter around 8pm on Thursday.
He is seen shooting a seller and another victim before jumping onto the counter and snatching trays of gold necklaces.
The regional police commander, Lieutenant-General Ampol Buaruppon, told reporters that the man came into the mall alone and opened fire at a security guard, whom he came across, and then started a shooting spree that killed three people and wounded another four.
"The robber was merciless. We are looking for him in every place. Please trust us; we will definitely get this man and bring him to justice," he said, adding that the police were authorised to use lethal force if he resists arrest.
Deputy commander Sumeth Punsri said the deadly attack lasted only a minute before the gunman fled on a motorcycle.
The police have offered 100,000 baht (S$4,500) for information leading to the gunman's arrest.
The parents of the toddler who died in the shooting posted a message on their Facebook page, saying: "We love you very much. We are so sorry that we cannot protect you. Rest in peace our angel."
Thailand has a high rate of gun ownership and the incident is the latest crime involving firearms to grab headlines in recent months.
Several shootings at courthouses late last year renewed concerns about gun violence.
In one high-profile case, two lawyers were shot dead by a clerk at a court in the east of the country during a hearing over a land dispute.
ASSOCIATED PRESS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE