Thai soldier kills at least 20 people, holes up in mall

People gather near a shopping mall where the mass shooting took place in Thailand.

 A Thai Cabinet minister says at least 20 people have been killed and 31 injured in a mass shooting.

The gunman, described by police as a soldier angry over a land dispute, holed up in a popular shopping mall in northwestern Thailand on Saturday. Police say they have now secured the mall.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says there are no more bodies left inside the mall. But he says, “we don't know whether there are any additional injuries or deaths or not.” He did not say whether the shooter had been found.

Anutin earlier said that a doctor was shot while helping an injured person.

The shooter appeared to be armed with an assault rifle, based on security camera video aired on Thai Rath television. Thai Rath said the incident began at about 3:30 p.m.

Shortly before midnight, police announced they had secured the entire mall. They released photos of officers escorting people to the exits, but they gave no information about the gunman's whereabouts.

A police officer contacted by phone in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima said the soldier initially shot dead another soldier and a woman and wounded a third person, apparently over a land dispute. Nakhon Ratchasima is also known as Korat.

City and neighborhood police officers, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to release information, said the man took a gun from his base and drove to the Terminal 21 Korat mall, shooting along the way. Several Thai media reported that he traveled in a military vehicle.

Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanich identified the suspect as Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma. He said police and military units had locked down the mall and the surrounding area.