BANGKOK (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): A South Korean Internet celebrity wanted to record herself enjoying a meal in Bangkok but ended up filming herself fleeing Siam Paragon as gunshots rang out.
In a video posted on South Korean video platform AfreecaTV, the live-streamer, known by her online moniker Barbie Jini, is seen sipping her drink at a Japanese restaurant at the luxury mall when a gunshot is heard.
Screams and sounds of glass window shattering can be heard as she immediately stands up to check her surroundings and shoppers dash out of the mall.
“Why? Why? What’s going on? Gun! It looks like a gun,” she says.
Visibly shaken, she picks up her camera and continues recording as she joins hundreds of panicked shoppers bolting for a mall exit.
A 14-year-old with a gun opened fire at Siam Paragon mall in downtown Bangkok on Tuesday, killing two people and injuring five.
The two who died were a Chinese tourist and a Myanmar national, said National Police chief Torsak Sukvimol, adding that the Chinese tourist died on the spot while the Myanmar national died in hospital.
The five injured – one Lao national, one Chinese national and three Thais – suffered wounds of varying degrees of severity, said Kanchana Patarachoke, director-general of the Department of Information and Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman.
Thai police charged the shooter, a 14-year-old student from a private school close to Siam Paragon, with premeditated murder and illegal possession of a firearm on Wednesday.
The boy was reportedly receiving psychiatric treatment and had surrendered himself after running out of bullets.
Videos on social media also show hundreds of shoppers fleeing Siam Paragon in panic.
After escaping the mall, the live-streamer can be seen panting heavily and then speechless for a few minutes. She then grabs a taxi and leaves the mall.
She said that she had initially thought the first gunshot was part of a hidden camera prank but quickly grasped the situation.
“When I saw a child’s mother running and leaving their stroller behind, I thought, ‘This is not a joke.’ I packed up all my belongings and rushed out,” she added.
“If I had been just a little bit late, I could have been in big trouble.”
The live-streamer said in a later post: “This is my first time in Thailand but my last day there was very eventful. I regret having to show the shooting incident live on Bangkok instead of (a happy day).”