Soldier who killed 26 in Thailand shot dead in mall: Officials

WILLIAM MANSELL, RASHID HADDOU and JUSTIN DOOM

Soldier who killed 26 in Thailand shot dead in mall: Officials originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

A soldier in Thailand who killed at least 26 and injured 57 others has been shot dead inside a mall, local officials told The Associated Press.

The exact circumstances surrounding the suspect's death weren't immediately clear early on Sunday.

Police earlier said the shooting began in the Nakhon Ratchasima province, and that the suspect had holed up in the Terminal 21 mall.

PHOTO: Thai security forces enter a shopping mall on Feb. 9, 2020, as they chase a shooter after a mass shooting in front of the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Feb. 8. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

People in the area were advised to take caution as police said the suspect was still firing off rounds.

PHOTO: Thai officials on guard outside the mall, after a suspected Thai soldier opened fire in a rampage at the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, Feb. 2020. (Narong Sangnak/EPA via Shutterstock)

A U.S. citizen was rescued and unharmed, according to preliminary information provided to U.S. law enforcement. Authorities are investigating whether the act is terrorism-related.

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PHOTO: Thai soldiers are seen behind a defensive line outside the Terminal 21 shopping mall, after a suspected Thai soldier opened fire in a rampage in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thailand, Feb. 8, 2020. (Narong Sangnak/EPA via Shutterstock)

According to the AP, the suspect allegedly shot and killed a soldier and a woman over a land dispute, which appears to have precipitated the rampage.

Preliminary details shared with the U.S. said the suspect then stole a military Humvee and weapons from an Army base, where several more guards were injured. The suspect then fled to the local mall and fired at shoppers, possibly taking hostages.

PHOTO: Thai security forces evacuate people on Feb. 9, 2020, as they chase a shooter after a mass shooting in front of the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand on Feb. 8, 2020. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

The alleged shooter posted messages to Facebook during the attack, before his account was taken down, police said.

"We don't know why he did this. It appears he went mad," defense ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit said, according to Reuters.