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Families in Thailand Began Funeral Rites for the 37 Killed in Daycare Massacre

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Families in Thailand Began Funeral Rites for the 36 Killed at Daycare

On Friday, bereaved families began funeral rites for the 37 victims killed by a disgraced police officer who rampaged through a daycare armed with a gun and a knife the previous day.

After a day of mourning at the daycare, the coffins containing the bodies of the victims, 24 of whom were children, were transported on flatbed trucks to temples to be given to their families.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha laid flowers at a nursery in the Na Klang district’s tambon Uthai Sawan and distributed compensation checks to bereaved families.

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Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and other cabinet ministers also visited Nong Bua Lam Phu Hospital to offer moral support to the daycare victims and their families.

Friday, families in the Na Klang district received bodies, mostly of children, for funerals at three Buddhist temples: Wat Sri Uthai, Wat Sri Samran, and Wat Rat Bamrung.

Earlier in the day, officials in white uniforms placed a large floral wreath at the small, low-lying nursery on behalf of His Majesty the King, who was scheduled to visit the province that evening.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri stated that various government agencies would compensate the families of the 37 deceased victims with 13,18 million baht.

Former police sergeant Panya Khamrab, armed with his own legally purchased 9mm pistol and a knife, began his murderous rampage at the daycare centre around noon on Thursday.

Police say he fled the scene in a pickup truck after the attack, where he murdered his wife and son before killing himself.

Mass Shooting at Daycare Centre in Thailand

He murdered 24 children (21 boys and 3 girls) and 12 adults at the daycare.

On Friday, the national police chief, Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, stated that an initial autopsy revealed no traces of drugs in the killer’s body but that long-term drug abuse may have caused mental illness.

According to Pol Gen Damrongsak, most child victims were between the ages of two and five, and many were killed with a machete-like blade used to cut sugarcane.

He stated that Panya argued with his wife hours before the attack, but “nothing unusual” was noted when he appeared in court on a drug possession charge the following morning.

Panya rose rapidly through the ranks of the Bangkok police force before a transfer to the provinces led to his drug use and abruptly ended his career, according to police statements released on Friday.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said after Panya admitted to using methamphetamine in January, he was relieved from police duty. Their preliminary investigation indicated he was deeply troubled by marital and financial issues.

According to his mother, he was arguing with his wife on the day of the incident. She said he may have intended to commit a crime.

Panya began his career in Bangkok and worked in two districts. In 2019, he was promoted to sergeant. According to the local police, Panya’s behaviour changed after he moved to Nong Bua Lumphu in the northeast.

They said he kept to himself but was sometimes violent and short-tempered, citing fellow officers who claimed he fought with coworkers despite their knowledge of his drug use.

His mother stated that her son’s behaviour changed when he left Bangkok to care for her in the country.

After being stationed in Bangkok for six years, he began using drugs when he relocated here.

On learning of her son’s killing spree, she exclaimed, “I nearly passed out. I was overcome with sorrow and grief for the families and children.”

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Thailand’s King and Queen Give Support to Daycare Victims

Meanwhile, their Majesties, the King and Queen, arrived in this northern province on Friday evening to offer moral support to the injured and bereaved families of people, including children, killed by a sacked police officer who rampaged through a nursery armed with a gun and a knife the previous day.

Around 8 p.m., Their Majesties offered encouragement to the injured at Nong Bua Lam Phu Hospital.

Their Majesties then travelled to the Udon Thani Hospital in the Muang district of the province of Udon Thani.

Their Majesties were briefed on treating a 3-year-old boy injured during the attack. The King and Queen subsequently met the boy’s parents and presented them with a gift basket.

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