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31 Victims of Soldiers Shooting Rampage Remembered

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31 Victim's of Soldiers Shooting Rampage Remembered

Victims of the deadly shooting rampage by a soldier that killed 31 people and injured 57 others were marked by a merit-making ceremony at a temple in northeastern Thailand on Wednesday afternoon.

The ceremony took place at Wat Pa Sattharuam in Tambon Huay Thalay of Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Maj Gen Sombat Intharasri, deputy chief of the Second Army, presided over the ceremony. He was joined by Nakhon Ratchasima deputy governor Somkiart Wiriyakullanan, military officers, local officials, and family members of the dead victims.

Luang Phor Kanya Sukkamo, abbot of Wat Pa Sapthaweethammaram attended and gave spiritual guidance to the families of the victims.

Large TV monitor screens were put up inside tents outside the temple, along with chairs, so people could have a clear view of the ceremony inside.

On February 8, 2020, a soldier embarked on a shooting rampage at Surathampithak army base and then at a shopping mall.

The soldier opened fire on his victims

31 Victims of Soldiers Shooting Rampage Remembered

At the army base, he fatally shot Col Anantharot Krasae, the colonel’s mother-in-law Anong Mitchan and a male civilian, Pitthaya Kaewprom, over a real estate deal.

He then fled the army camp in a Humvee in the early afternoon to Terminal 21 shopping mall. He was armed with three HK33 rifles and an M60 machine gun he had taken from the camp, where he opened fire on civilians.

There were reportedly about 20 people held hostage by the gunman, who trapped dozens of people inside the shopping mall. After a dramatic climax on Feb 9, police commandos killed the soldier.

According to reports, the rampage was sparked by a conflict over a house sale between the gunman and his commander. The soldier, along with 31 other victims, were killed, and 57 people were injured.

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Victims say memories won’t fade

Meanwhile, two years after the massacre, the horror is still fresh in the minds of those who were injured in the rampage.

Sitthisak Wadkhoksung, now 31, told the Bangkok Post he was studying at a non-formal school in Korat when the soldier shot him in the stomach and leg on February 8, 2020.

He was rushed to Saint Mary’s Hospital in critical condition after being shot down as he rode his motorcycle past the Terminal 21 mall. He was then taken to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Sitthisak said he had recovered from his injuries after six months of medical treatment.

However, memories of that day will always stay in his mind. His scars were a vivid reminder of that day two years ago.
Sitthisak said he was able to return to his normal life after the encouragement and moral support he received from his friends and family.

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