Man surrenders after firing some 40 gunshots in Bangkok

Police in tactical gear leave the site of the shooting in Bangkok. (AP pic)

BANGKOK: Thai police arrested a local man who fired multiple gunshots near Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok early this morning.

Thai police arrested the 44-year-old man, a sports shop owner, who fired at least 40 shots in multiple directions during the wee hours of Friday in Chula Soi 10 at Pathumwan district in Bangkok.

The incident sparked panic among the public and residents in the neighbourhood with many two-storey shops – most of them selling sporting equipment and gear – as it came just less than a week after a rogue soldier killed 29 and injured 58 in a shooting rampage in Nakhon Ratchasima last weekend.

Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Pakkapong Pongpetra said the suspect surrendered and was taken to the police station for further investigation.

“No casualties were reported,” he told reporters at the scene today.

It is believed that the man was under stress, which prompted him to take his handgun and opened fire.

Meanwhile, a taxi driver said he and a group of taxi drivers heard gunshots from a rooftop of the two-storey shops at around 3am (local time) today.

“We saw him (aiming to) open fire at us… everyone started running for his life,” he said.

Last Saturday, Thai soldier Sergeant Major Jakrapanth Thomma, 32, was shot dead by security forces after a shooting rampage at four locations in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, about 250km from Bangkok, and killed 29 people including police and army officers and wounded 58 others.

The soldier killed his commanding officer and the officer’s mother-in-law over a property dispute, and stole weapons and ammunition before fleeing in a military jeep.

He shot his way through a Buddhist temple before going to the Terminal 21 shopping mall where he was holed up for more than 12 hours.