FACEBOOK REMOVES PROFILE OF SOLDIER WHO POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA WHILE COMMITTING THAILAND’S WORST MASS SHOOTING
Facebook removed the profile of a soldier who posted on its platform as he carried out Thailand’s worst mass shooting before he was shot dead inside a mall.
Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma gunned down 26 people and injured 57 others in a shooting spree on Saturday, the Associated Press reported. He was killed after taking hostages and seeking refuge in a mall in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, which is also known as Korat, for 17 hours, the Bangkok Post reported.
Thomma killed his commanding officer, then fired at others at his base before taking guns and ammunition and continuing his attack as he drove to the Terminal 21 Korat mall in an Army Humvee.
He posted on his Facebook page before and during the shooting, including a post asking whether he should surrender. “No one can escape death,” he wrote in one post, according to the Associated Press. Another said: “Should I give up?” Later, he posted: “I have stopped already.”
Media reported that in one video shared on the platform the gunman is seen wearing an Army helmet. “I’m tired…I can’t pull my finger anymore,” he said in the clip while making a trigger sign with his hand.
Facebook took down his page after the shooting began and said it will work to remove any content related to the attack that violates the social network’s policies. A Facebook spokesperson told Newsweek that the gunman broadcast himself briefly during a livestream video, but did not show any violence.
“We have removed the gunman’s presence on our services and have found no evidence that he broadcasted this violence on FBLive,” the spokesperson told Newsweek in a statement. “We are working around the clock to remove any violating content related to this attack. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this tragedy in Thailand.”
On Sunday, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha visited some of the wounded victims in hospital.
“This incident was unprecedented in Thialand,” he told the AP. “I hope this is the only one and the last incident, and that it never happens again. No one wants this to happen. It could be because of this person’s mental health in this particular moment.”
He said the gunman’s motive for the shooting appeared to be because of a dispute over the sale of a property with a relative of his commanding officer, the Bangkok Post reported.
According to the newspaper, the rampage began at the Surathampithak military camp around 3:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, where the gunman killed his commanding officer Col. Anantharot Krasae. The BBC reported that Krasaw’s 63-year-old mother-in-law and another soldier were also killed.
Thai police took to Facebook to reveal the “mission complete” after shooting Thomma dead and freeing hostages. They urged the public not to share images of the deceased out of respect for their families.