Reuters journalists established a timeline of the rampage in the Northern Thailand town of Uthai Sawan, where an ex-policeman killed 36 people, including 22 children in a nursery, making it the deadliest massacre of children globally in recent years.
Reporters on the ground in Uthai Sawan gathered details of the events through interviews of neighbors, witnesses and a senior investigating officer, and confirmed many of the details with phone records. Reuters Graphics produced an interactive timeline of the day from predawn to 3 p.m., the end of the massacre.
Reuters Southeast Asia Special Correspondent Poppy McPherson was among those who reported from Uthai Sawan in the aftermath and witnessed how the massacre affected the tight-knit community.
“This was a brutal and incomprehensible attack on a small, tight-knit community living in a remote, rural part of Thailand that left families bereft and shocked. Some had lost multiple children or multiple relatives. Because there was a lot of violence in different places – the killer rampaged through the neighborhood where he was born and attacked the nursery – the initial information about what happened was confusing and there were conflicting reports. We thought it was worth trying to establish what had happened.”
“During our reporting, we found the killer had exhibited violence before the day of the rampage, illegally shooting his gun in the neighborhood despite complaints from his neighbors. His status as an ex-police officer seems to have protected him to an extent. It also emerged the ordeal had lasted hours, and the police took a while to show up – one neighbor told us she called 165 times. The deputy police chief admitted to us the slow response and vowed to investigate whether authorities ignored warnings about the killer’s behavior.”
Access “Three hours of horror” and Reuters reporting on the massacre on Reuters Connect.
jj.minder @ tr.com