About 30 children were at the centre when the gunman arrived, fewer than usual, as heavy rain had kept many people away, district official Jidapa Boonsom, who was working in a nearby office at the time, told Reuters.
“The shooter came in around lunchtime and shot four or five officials at the childcare centre first,” said Jidapa, adding that among them was a teacher who was eight months pregnant.
At first, people thought the shots were fireworks, she said.
“It’s really shocking. We were very scared and running to hide once we knew it was shooting. So many children got killed, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The gunman forced his way into a locked room where children were sleeping, Jidapa said. She said she thought he killed children there with a knife.