Thai army chief apologises for mass shooting by soldier hinh anh 1Thailand's Army Chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong during a press conference at the Royal Thai Army headquarters in Bangkok on February 11. (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) –
Thailand’s Army Chief General Apirat Kongsompong on February 11 apologised for the mass shooting by a soldier in Nakhon Ratchasima province last week.

Speaking at a press conference, General Apirat said the soldier was a criminal and he was no longer a soldier from the moment he first pulled the trigger.

He called on the public not to blame the army or berate soldiers, and accepted responsibility for the incident.

The rampage lasted from 15:30 on February 8 to February 9 morning, leaving 29 people dead and 58 others injured.

Jakrapanth Thomma, a 32-year-old sergeant in the Thai army, gunned down the victims at Terminal 21 shopping mall before being shot dead by commandos.

"It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens," Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said outside a hospital where victims were sent after they were evacuated from the shopping mall.

Thailand has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, and several shootings at courthouses last year renewed concerns about gun violence./.