Thailand Grieves the Loss of ‘Tiny Angels’ in The Day Care Massacre

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Thailand has been in the state of mourning since Friday after a gun and knife massacre that horrified the entire world. The rampage happened in a Thai day care center in Uthai Sawan, a town 310 miles north-east of Bangkok on Thursday.

The attacker opened fire and stabbed children as they slept in the afternoon, resulting in the deaths of thirty-seven, mainly children. Police identified the attacker as Panya Khamrab, a 34-year-old former police lieutenant colonel, who had appeared in court earlier on Thursday on a drugs charge.

guilty for thailand massacre
Police said the perpetrator was a former police officer. Photograph: Thailand’s Central Investigation

After he left the daycare, he drove his car towards and shot at bystanders, then returned home where he shot his wife, his stepson, and himself. His stepson used to attend the centre but hadn’t been for the past month.

Most of the child victims were aged between two and five years of age, the beast had killed with a machete-like blade farmers use to cut sugarcane, police said.

Nation Grieves

Grief and anger has filled Thailand since the grisly massacre, mourning the small coffins of innocent children.

coffins from thailand massacre

“My wife and my child have gone to a peaceful place. I am alive and will have to live. If I can’t go on, my wife and my child will be worried about me, and they won’t be reborn in the next life,” said the husband of Supaporn Pramongmuk, Seksan Sriraj.

The mother of Supaporn Pramongmuk, a 25-year-old teacher at the centre who was eight months pregnant and killed along with her young students, said:

“I cried until I had no more tears coming out of my eyes. They are running through my heart,”

offerings from thailand massacre

A stream of people, including Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, other government representatives and relatives themselves, left flowers at the day care center on Friday. By afternoon, bouquets of white roses and carnations lined the wall outside, along with five tiny juice boxes, bags of corn chips and a stuffed animal.

Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha pays his respects outside the scene of massacre
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha pays his respects outside the daycare centre

Families brought offerings to place near the coffins of their loved ones – baby bottles, juice boxes, toy cars, sticky rice. They would wait for the pink and white coffins adorned with gold, bearing the bodies of the children, which were brought to a hospital morgue in Udon Thani and laid out in rows.

coffins from the thailand massacre

The 64-year-old grandmother of three-year-old Pattarawut, killed in Thailand day care massacre, wanted to know when she can see her grandson, so she can place his most treasured possessions with him in his coffin – the bag includes a large plastic dinosaur.

A family of a victim mourns as they bring a blanket and a baby bottle during the ceremony

Another grandmother, 46-year-old Nipha Lawongsechaison, says she lost both a grandson and granddaughter in the attack.

“I am full of such pain… (and) anger because I cannot do anything,” she says.

27-year-old Naliwan Dungkhet, the aunt of two-year-old Captain, who was just a month away from his third birthday, voiced the entire nation’s unanswered question, “Why did he take it (out) on the children? Why kill them when they did nothing to him?”

 Two-year-old Captain, who also died in the attack

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Hamna M.
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