BANGKOK—A shooter opened fire inside a major shopping mall in the center of Thailand’s capital Tuesday afternoon, killing at least two people before being apprehended, authorities said.
Police said a suspect was taken into custody less than an hour after the first reported gunshots at the Siam Paragon Mall, long been seen as one of Bangkok's biggest and most upscale shopping destinations.
Video uploaded to social media and broadcast on television showed a long-haired teenage boy in the custody of police. Major Thai media said he was 14 years old, though recently appointed police chief Torsak Sukvimol confirmed only that he is a minor and appeared to be suffering from mental illness.
Torsak said two people had been killed, a visitor from China and a Myanmar national. Earlier, Yutthana Sretthanan, director of Bangkok’s Erawan Emergency Medical Center, had said three people were killed and six were injured. There was no explanation of the discrepancy, though Yutthana later supported the police number.
Police spokesman Archayon Kraithong told reporters the situation was under control at the mall, which sells high-end fashions and luxury cars, and includes a cinema, an aquarium and the attached five-star Siam Kempinski Hotel.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters that he was informed by police that one of the dead was a Chinese tourist about 30 years old.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased following the shooting inside Siam Paragon,” Srettha, who took office in August, said in an earlier statement. "I would like to give my moral support to the families of all who died and were injured.”
Tuesday's shooting prompted authorities to temporarily shut access to the nearby Siam Square elevated train stop, preventing commuters from exiting as the evening rush hour began and intense rain pounded the city, according to an Associated Press journalist at the scene.
First responders could be seen entering the mall as sirens wailed outside.
Witnesses said crowds of people left the building, one of several shopping centers in the area popular with tourists and well-heeled Thais alike.